Access: New York Times
Summary: This news footage is of a Libyan woman, Eman al-Obeidy, who recently entered a Tripoli hotel full of foreign journalists. Although not shown in the video, al-Obeidy claimed to have been detained at a checkpoint in the Libyan capital by forces loyal to Muammar el-Qaddafi and some time thereafter raped by 15 men. She reportedly showed the journalists at the hotel a number of bruises and scars and mentioned that her friends were still being detained by militiamen. David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times quotes the woman as saying, “I was tied up, and they defecated and urinated on me. They violated my honor.” Soon thereafter plain-clothed government minders entered the hotel, and with some assistance from the hotel's servers and in the face of protests from many onlookers, forcibly put al-Obeidy into a car and drove away. Her whereabouts and well being are currently unknown. The raw footage of this woman being physically removed is heart wrenching, and it certainly grabs the viewer's attention. Perhaps this is because the coercion is so plain to see, but the clip is also engaging because we know it is not archival footage from a settled conflict, but is instead taken from a developing civil war in Libya. Instructors can use this clip as a means of catalyzing a discussion about war rape, which is used systematically as a means of humiliating the enemy and destroying communities. Students can also be reminded that rape is not only something the soldiers of "Other" nations do. Another clip on The Sociological Cinema (here) features testimonies, which describe rape committed by American soldiers during the Vietnam War.
Submitted By: Lester Andrist