Editor's note: We have since added additional pixelation to all of the images, including those of the attackers. This post is ultimately about the existence of a video, thus the images ARE the story — without them, there's nothing. To remove them would be, in effect, to un-report the story. Which is not going to happen. -JC
Here's something truly horrifying: a video that appears to depict a woman being raped in Benghazi, Libya has surfaced on YouTube. It's already been taken down, but now the question is: who raped her, who posted it on the internet, and will she ever get justice?
The video is titled, in Arabic, "Original video of foreign journalist being raped in Benghazi." We captured it before it was removed, but we're not going to post it here. Instead, we'll summarize and post a few (non-graphic, non-victim-identifying) screenshots. If you don't want to learn more about what appears to be a brutal rape, you should just stop here.
The video appears to depict three young men assaulting the woman. Here are two of them.
Here's part of the face of the third. The video is poor-quality.
The victim is mostly naked. The men fondle and kiss her breasts, and appear to penetrate her. One dangles his penis near her face. Note: this image is the same as the (pixelated) one above. It appears to depict the woman's side and arm and her attacker's head.
She appears to be semi-conscious, possibly drugged.
The video was posted yesterday by a user named libya19692011. He's posted one other video, in August of last year — it's still available, and appears to depict some sort of gun battle. His username seems to be a reference to Gaddafi, who ruled Libya from 1969 until 2011. libya19692011 also has a Twitter feed, under the name Ahmed Aldorssi. His two English-language tweets, both from January 9, 2011, read "libya" and "long life the king of africa." Another tweet, from February 2011, reads "Great Jamihiriya," a name Gaddafi coined for Libya. People familiar with Middle Eastern politics who have seen the video speculate that it may have been made by Gaddafi loyalists, which would be in keeping with Aldorssi's tweets.
Benghazi is also the home city of Iman al-Obeidi, the woman who accused Gaddafi supporters of raping her last March. She said they targeted her because Benghazi was a rebel center. It's also where 41 Gaddafi loyalists are currently on trial for "supporting the Kadhafi regime in its attempts to crush the popular revolt, killing people, breaking of national unity, as well as helping prisoners to escape and setting up criminal gangs." The trial started Sunday, two days before the video was posted. We can't know if the two are connected, but it certainly seems like any remaining loyalists in Benghazi could be full of rage right now. And although there's no identification yet of anybody in the video, the footage does show one man's face — and if Ahmed Aldorssi is the poster's real name, he should be easy to find. If anything good comes of the recording and posting of this disgusting crime, maybe it will be that the criminals actually get prosecuted.