A Collaboration with University of Pittsburgh   

UN denounces Qatar extradition of Libya rape victim

A United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) [official website] spokesperson on Friday condemned [press release] Qatar's [BBC backgrounder] extradition of rape victim Eman Al Obeidi to her home country of Libya [BBC backgrounder]. UNCHR spokesperson, Adrian Edwards, said that Qatar violated international law by deporting Al Obeidi after she was ruled a refugee by the UNHCR and in its custody. Al Obeidi was prevented by Qatar government forces from leaving with the UNHCR for Romania and instead diverted to a plane bound for Libya. Al Obeidi is currently in Benghazi [Al-Jazeera Blog report] under the protection of the rebel government [CNN report], the National Transition Council [political website]. Al Obeidi became internationally known when she entered the Rixos Hotel on March 26 and told the international press corps that she had been stopped at a checkpoint by Mummar Gaddafi's [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] forces and beaten and gang-raped for 2 days. CNN had the exclusive interview:

Libyan government spokesperson Mussa Ibrahim stated that those she accused of rape are pursuing charges against her [Guardian report] for a wrongful accusation and that any investigations had been dropped due to Al Obeidi refusing a medical examination. Qatar has not responded to any of the criticism, nor explained their decision to deport her.

Earlier this week, a three-person commission for the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] appointed to investigate violence in Libya published a report [JURIST report] saying that government forces have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes under orders from Libyan leader Mummar Gaddafi and other high-ranking officials. Last month, International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced he is seeking arrest warrants [JURIST report] for Gaddafi and two others in his "inner circle" on charges of crimes against humanity. Ocampo has since sent a letter to Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelati Obeidi, warning against diplomats covering up crimes for Gaddafi. Further, Ocampo alleged that cover-ups in Libya go so far that any trace of a crime is destroyed. Ocampo revealed in April that his office had uncovered evidence [JURIST report] that Gaddafi planned to attack civilians to forestall regime-toppling revolution. Ocampo indicated that the plans were made in response to the conflicts in Tunisia and Egypt and included shooting civilians. In March, Ocampo told the press that he was 100 percent certain his office would bring charges [JURIST report] against Gaddafi. Also in March, the ICC launched a probe into allegations of crimes against humanity [JURIST report] by the Libyan government.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.