Rape of women in Libya is reported to be widespread and systematically employed.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today said she was deeply concerned about reports of wide-scale rape in Libya.
“Since Eman al Obeidi bravely burst into a hotel in Tripoli on March 26 to reveal that Qadhafi’s security forces raped her, other brave women have come forward to tell of the horrible brutality they have experienced.”Ms. Clinton
According to Ms. Clinton, a thorough investigation of the violence against women is needed to bring perpetrators to justice.
She said the United States is also troubled by reports of sexual violence used by governments to intimidate and punish protestors seeking democratic reforms across the Middle East and North Africa. She added rape, physical intimidation, sexual harassment, and even so-called “virginity tests” have taken place in countries throughout the region.
“These egregious acts are violations of basic human dignity and run contrary to the democratic aspirations so courageously expressed throughout the region.”Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton noted that Qadhafi’s security forces and other groups in the region are trying to divide the people by using violence against women and rape as tools of war. She said the United States condemns rape of Libyan women in the strongest possible terms.
“We urge all governments to conduct immediate, transparent investigations into these allegations, and to hold accountable those found responsible.”Ms. Clinton
The turmoil in Libya started when peaceful protesters called for an end of Col Gaddafi’s regime. He has ruled Libya for more than 40 years.