Libya: Moammar Gadhafi Said To Have Ordered Troops to Rape
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 9:25 AM

Though government officials are denying allegations, testimonies gathered by doctors and human rights workers indicate that women are being systematically targeted for rape by Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in the Libyan uprising.

Loyalist prisoners of war as well as rape victims say that Gadhafi directly ordered his troops to rape women as a means of punishing rebels and destabilizing their military strength. Libyan society views sexual assault as shaming to both the victim and her family, and as such this tactic is meant to silence the opposition to Gadhafi’s rule.

A Libyan psychologist, Dr. Siham Sergewa, has distributed tens of thousands of surveys to refugees living inside and outside Libya. Several hundred women say that they have been raped, an estimate which is likely to be low due to the stigma of reporting rape. Many of these women were raped in front of family members and/or subjected to gang-rape. Sergewa, along with human rights experts and others, is working with international organizations to develop a support network for victims of rape.


Compiled from: Kossov, Igor: “Gadhafi Said to Order Forces to Rape Villagers," Womens eNews (20 June 2011).