Libya: Eman al-Obeidi recovering in Romania, UNHCR says


A Libyan woman who says she was raped by supporters of Col Muammar Gaddafi is recovering from her ordeal in a refugee centre in western Romania, the UN says.Twelve weeks after she burst into a Tripoli hotel to tell her story to reporters, Eman al-Obeidi, 29, is now in a private clinic attached to the UN refugee centre in Timisoara, it says. She arrived there from Libya’s rebel stronghold of Benghazi on Monday. US officials have said she is welcome to apply for asylum in America. They promised to prioritise any application she might make.

Machiel Salomons, the representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Romania, appealed to reporters in Bucharest to respect what he called “the space and privacy she needs to begin the process of recovering from traumatic events”.

“Ms Eman Obeidi has indeed been successfully evacuated from Libya to the emergency transit centre in Timisoara, having arrived on Monday afternoon via Malta,” said Mr Salomons. ”She has been accompanied throughout by UNHCR staff during her journey to Romania.” Mr Salomons refused to speculate on where Ms Obeidi might go next.

Repeated efforts by journalists to speak to her at the clinic have failed. There are 81 other asylum seekers at the specially-built refugee centre in Timisoara, mostly from Eritrea. Timisoara, some 530km (330 miles) was the city where the Romanian revolution began in 1989.

June 9, 2011