US condemns sexual violence in Libya, Mideast

AP News
Posted: Jun 16, 2011 7:01 PM
US condemns sexual violence in Libya, Mideast

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she is deeply concerned by reports of wide-scale rape in Libya and other acts of sexual violence across the Arab world.

Clinton praised the "brave women" of Libya who've come forward to tell their tales of the horrible brutality they've suffered at the hands of Moammar Gadhafi's forces. She called for a thorough investigation and perpetrators to be brought to justice.

Elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa, Clinton said there were troubling reports of rape, sexual harassment and even "virginity tests" employed by governments to intimidate protesters seeking democratic reforms.

In a statement Thursday, she said such acts violate "basic human dignity."

Clinton condemned Gadhafi's forces and others for using rape as a tool of war.