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Iman Al-Obeidi: 'Every Day I Am Beaten'

Iman al-Obeidi, who last month told reporters in Tripoli that she had been beaten and raped by men loyal to Moammar Gadhafi, tells NPR she is no longer in custody.

But, she says, "every day I am beaten."

And she fears for her life: "They threaten us with murder," she said by telephone from Libya to our colleague Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson's translator in Cairo. Her sister, Obeidi said, is also in danger.

Obeidi burst into a Tripoli hotel on March 26. As she tried to tell reporters about what she says had been done to her, she was dragged away by authorities in a dramatic scene played out in front of dozens of cameras.

"They took me to a prison" for 72 hours after that, she told NPR today. When she was allowed to go home, "they stopped me again and they stopped me three times, the last time was yesterday" — when, she says, she was "beaten very hard [so] that I can't even leave my bed today."

NPR cannot at this time independently verify her accounts. The Gadhafi government has threatened to press criminal charges against her for allegedly making false accusations. Today, a government spokesman was not immediately available to comment on her latest claims, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from Tripoli.

Now, Obeidi says, she is talking to reporters "because we are suffocated and we are kidnapped and beaten. ... They distorted my image in front of the world and the Libyans. And they slandered my reputation."

Among the accusations were questions about her claim of having been raped multiple times by Gadhafi loyalists before her first attempt to speak with the news media. She now says that a doctor has confirmed that "I was raped violently."

As far as she knows, the men who allegedly raped her have not been arrested. The "public prosecutor refuses to meet with me," she told Soraya.

There will be much more about her conversation with NPR on today's All Things Considered. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams the show.

Obeidi also spoke with CNN today, which says it will broadcast an interview with her tonight at 10 p.m. ET on AC360.

Iman al-Obeidi, who said she spent two days in detention after being arrested at a checkpoint in Tripoli, Libya,  and was sexually assaulted by up to 15 men while in custody, shouted as she told her story at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli on Saturday (March 26, 2011). i i

Iman al-Obeidi, who said she spent two days in detention after being arrested at a checkpoint in Tripoli, Libya, and was sexually assaulted by up to 15 men while in custody, shouted as she told her story at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli on Saturday (March 26, 2011). Jerome Delay/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jerome Delay/AP
Iman al-Obeidi, who said she spent two days in detention after being arrested at a checkpoint in Tripoli, Libya,  and was sexually assaulted by up to 15 men while in custody, shouted as she told her story at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli on Saturday (March 26, 2011).

Iman al-Obeidi, who said she spent two days in detention after being arrested at a checkpoint in Tripoli, Libya, and was sexually assaulted by up to 15 men while in custody, shouted as she told her story at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli on Saturday (March 26, 2011).

Jerome Delay/AP

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