Woman at centre of rape case leaves Libya: UNHCR

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 07, 2011 8:18 AM

GENEVA (Reuters) - A Libyan woman who said she was gang raped by pro-government militiamen has left her homeland again after being deported by Qatar last week, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday.

Eman Al-Obaidi spent nearly a month in Qatar before authorities there forced her and her parents to board a flight last week to Libya's rebel-held Benghazi in violation of international law, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.

In March, Obaidi burst into a Tripoli hotel and, weeping, made a plea for help to journalists there, saying she had been held for two days and raped by 15 militiamen loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The UNHCR said Tuesday Obaidi was taken to a U.N. refugee transit center in the western Romanian city of Timisoara, the only one of its kind in Europe.

"She is currently being cared for by UNHCR staff," said UNHCR representative Machiel Salomons in Romania. "She is at an emergency transit center located in Timisoara, along with other refugees who have been evacuated from a number of difficult locations in the world.

"All of the refugees at the center are in the process of being interviewed for resettlement by various countries."

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Additional reporting by Luiza Ilie in Bucharest; Editing by Janet Lawrence)