Gaddafi Uses Rape as a Weapon of War?

June 8, 2011

Protest for Libyan Rape Victim Iman al-Obeidi
Libyan-American women protesting in support of Libyan rape victim Iman al-Obeidi in Washington, DC. ©Getty Images

Amidst reports of hundreds of rapes by Gaddafi forces in Libya, I appeared on Alhurra TV last week to discuss this brutal human rights violation. Watch the clip (in Arabic only) here.

Amnesty International remains concerned about violence against women in the midst of the political turbulence of the Arab Spring uprisings. The use of rape and other forms of sexual violence in Libya as weapons of war are efforts to intimidate, punish, humiliate, and control women and their communities.

These rapes and other forms of sexual violence constitute grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including the crime of torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Other injustices among the uprisings include the forced virginity tests performed on female demonstrators in Egypt. Egypt’s government needs to uphold the human rights of all Egyptian women, including those who are struggling for gender equality and human rights.  You can join us in calling for an investigation and end to forced virginity testing in Egypt.

Looking to learn more about how to prevent violence against women worldwide? Visit our women’s human rights page for more ways to fight the cycle of violence and discrimination.