Iman al-Obeidi, the Libyan woman who escaped the house where she says she was repeatedly raped by Gadhafi's thugs, then burst into a Tripoli hotel to share her story with reporters, has now committed another courageous act. Last week, she fled from Libya to Tunisia with the help of a defecting military officer.
Obeidi describes her dramatic escape in a CNN interview. In Tripoli, Obeidi had essentially become a prisoner in her home, since she was harassed by police and people who recognized her in the street. Officials had also forbidden her from traveling to see her family in eastern Libya. On Thursday, she fled the city in a military car with the officer and his family. Obeidi wore a traditional head covering that hid everything except one eye. Along the way, the car was stopped at several checkpoints, but they were allowed to pass after the officer showed his permit. Eventually Obeidi was allowed to enter Tunisia using a refugee document.
European diplomats met her at the border and are supporting her while she decides what to do next. Details about her location haven't been released because she's still afraid that she's being followed by the Libyan government. She told CNN, "I still do not know what I am going to do. Of course I'd like to see my family."
Obeidi's parents learned from news reports that she's fled the country. Her father, Atiq al-Obeidi, said they were afraid Gadhafi's forces "would do the worst to her, given his past." He said he and his wife are both thankful that she was able to safely leave the country. "I am extremely delighted, and I will be looking forward to more information about how she was able to escape," he said.