Four months after she burst into a Tripoli hotel to inform foreign journalists that she'd been brutally gang-raped by Muammar Qaddafi's troops, Eman al-Obeidy's ordeal may finally be behind her. CNN--which appears to have a close relationship with the Libyan woman and has become the go-to source for updates on her case--is reporting that Obeidy has arrived in New York after the U.S. granted her asylum. The report suggests, rather vaguely, that Obeidy is here to stay, noting that she has since "boarded a flight to the destination where she will reside." We also learn that Obeidy is not speaking with the media beyond her conversation with a CNN producer. A spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has confirmed to AFP that Obeidy arrived in America but also declined to disclose her final destination. The U.S. isn't a particularly surprising place for Obeidy to land; CNN previously reported that Obeidy had expressed interested in going to America, and a State Department source told the news outlet that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "has been deeply interested in the case."
The relocation comes after Obeidy spent 54 days in a U.N. refugee camp in Romania. She came to Romania after she was deported to rebel-held eastern Libya from Qatar, where she'd been staying under the watchful eye of Qatari authorities following her escape from informal house arrest in Tripoli. At the time, Obeidy accused Qatari officials of beating her before she was deported, and accused Libyan rebel leaders of pressuring Qatar, an ally of theirs, to expel her. But Qatari authorities spoke of an expired visa and the rebels' Transitional National Council expressed outrage at the incident, promising to open an investigation. As far as we can tell, the findings have yet to be released.
For some additional context on Obeidy's harrowing tale, here's a video of her tumultuous entrance into the Tripoli's Rixos Hotel in March:
And here are two interviews CNN's Nic Robertson conducted with Obeidy in Tripoli and Qatar:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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