A Libyan diplomat rejects the charges, but the ICC says there is evidence that troops were issued Viagra
When we thought the litany of atrocities charged against Moammar Gadhafi couldn’t get more shocking, news breaks that there is evidence that the Libyan leader ordered his soldiers to use rape as a weapon of war.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), said:
We are planning to add additional charges on rapes because we are collecting more information about Gadhafi’s personal involvement in the attack in the use of rape as weapon to control civilians.
Moreno-Ocampo added that there is information that the government even supplied forces with Viagra (a drug the prosecutor recently likened in this horrific circumstance to a “machete”). In April, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, raised this issue, saying that some Libyan troops had been issued Viagra.
A Libyan diplomat rejected the charges when speaking to the U.N. human rights council on Thursday, the Guardian reported, but the ICC claims to have evidence, which is also backed up by many accounts from individuals, community organizers and local councils in Libya of rapes committed by government forces.
Speaking on Al Jazeera, Nigel Pont of Mercy Corps said that his organization — which works in crisis response — had heard “numerous reports” of rape. Pont emphasized the need to put systems in place in Libya to help the rape victims, many of whom fear speaking out about their ordeals.
In March, a Libyan woman, Eman al-Obeidi, caught media attention when she burst into a Tripoli hotel and said she had been raped by Gadhafi’s troops. She is currently in a refugee center in Romania, according to Al Jazeera.
Beyond this, as the BBC reported in late May, a number of Gadhafi’s troops, once imprisoned, have claimed that their commanding officers forced them to commit gang rape — potentially corroborating the ICC’s charge that this was a strategy ordered from the top. “My impression was that the men were telling the truth,” wrote the BBC’s Andrew Harding, having spoken to two imprisoned soldiers who say they were ordered to gang rape four people.
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email email@example.com. More Natasha Lennard.
More Related Stories
- If Alex Pareene was a cable news executive...
- El Salvador court delays ruling on abortion case while woman's life hangs in the balance
- UK officials: Radical Islam behind London attack
- Pa. governor "can't find" any Latinos to work in his administration
- London machete attack could be linked to terrorism
- Conservative group blames military sexual assault on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal
- Lois Lerner, IRS disaster
- Donald Rumsfeld worried that marriage equality will lead to polygamy
- Experts: Fox News spying scandal a game-changer
- San Francisco Giant Jeremy Affeldt apologizes for homophobic past
- 9-year-old slams Rahm over Chicago schools
- Stockholm riots rage for third day
- Wall Street firm's "Golden Pitchbook" is totally sexist, full of lies
- Must-see morning clip: Toronto's eccentric and allegedly crack-smoking mayor
- Federal court strikes down Arizona abortion ban
- Jodi Arias: I deserve a second chance
- Oklahoma residents return home to pick up the pieces
- Florida man with connection to Tsarnaev killed by FBI
- FBI identifies 5 Benghazi suspects
- Here come the tornado truthers. Already
- Peace Corps to allow gay couples to volunteer together
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11