Claims Gaddafi raped bodyguards

2011-08-28 14:21

Valletta - Five women who formed part of Muammar Gaddafi's select unit of female bodyguards are claiming they were raped and abused by the now hunted dictator, The Sunday Times of Malta reported.

The women have told Benghazi-based psychologist Seham Sergewa they were sexually abused by Gaddafi and his sons before being discarded once the men had become "bored" with them.

The claims form part of a dossier being collated by Sergewa for the International Criminal Court and possible trial that Gaddafi and members of his inner circle may face in Libya if and when they are captured alive.

One of the women told Sergewa how she had been blackmailed into joining the bodyguard brigade, once believed to number as many as 400 women, after the regime fabricated a story that her brother was carrying drugs on his way back to Libya from a holiday in Malta.

"She was told 'you either become a bodyguard or your brother will spend the rest of his life in prison'," Sergewa told The Sunday Times of Malta in an interview in Benghazi.

Father figure

"She had been expelled from university and was told to seek Gaddafi's intervention to be reinstated. She was told she had to undergo a medical test that included an HIV test that was administered by an East European nurse."

Eventually she was taken to meet Gaddafi at his Bab Aziziya compound in Tripoli, and led to his private quarters where she found him in his pyjamas.

"She could not understand because she saw him as a father figure, leader of the nation, that sort of thing. She refused his advances and he raped her," Sergewa said.

A pattern emerged in the stories. The women would be first raped by the dictator and then passed on to one of his sons and eventually to high-ranking officials for more abuse before eventually being let go, the psychologist said.

The women stepped forward after Sergewa started investigating claims of systematic rape, allegedly committed by loyalist troops during the conflict.

- SAPA
Read more on:    muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  north africa  |  libya protests
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