There was a systematic rape campaign during Qaddafi rule
"To put fear on Libyan people and stop them from resistance against Qaddafi regime," said Sergewa when she was asked what is the motive of that barbaric campaign.06 September 2016 11:56
Libyan psychologist Dr Siham Sergewa. (Libyan Express)
Five years ago, I covered the war in Libya that toppled the regime of Muammar Qaddafi and killed himself. I found the truth based on my interviews with ordinary people, like taxi driver, old men, imams, students, wwomen, and girls.
Qaddafi was not like described in many countries, also in Indonesia. For the Libyans I met during the revolution in 2011, Qaddafi was not an islamic leader. They said Qaddafi was a criminal, rapist.
I was also showed by Libyan rebels at that time, a room equipped a bed and an abortion room in the complex of the University of Tripoli. The rebels told me there Qaddafi has raped any girl he wanted. Back from Libya, I wrote a book title Rahasia Muammar al-Qaddafi (the Truth about Muammar al-Qaddafi), released in October 2011.
A well known Libyan pshycologist who lives in Benghazi, Dr Siham Sergewa, has confirmed based on her reasearch that there was a systematic rape campaign against Libyan women and girls during Qaddafi rule.
"To put fear on Libyan people and stop them from resistance against Qaddafi regime," said Sergewa when she was asked what is the motive of that barbaric campaign, in an exclusive interview via WhatsApp this week with Faisal Assegaf from Albalad.co.
Is there any improvement on Libyan women in the present compared with Qaddafi era?
There are some improvements, they can travel free without a companion. However, due to the war, the universities have been closed down, especially in the east of Libya.
The economy has become worse. Many women lost their husband and father during the war, that means they have also lost their income support. Health conditions also deteriorated for the women due to the poor and deteriorating services.
There are also violations on human rights by kiling women who were politically active.
You already documented about women have been raped during Qaddafi rule. How many victims?
657 women have been interviewed and diagnosed as rape victims.
What age most of the victims?
Their ages range between 17 and 45. The most targeted are girls from 20 to 29 years old.
Based on your interview with the victims, who were the rapists?
Qaddafi troops and criminals and Qaddafi knew about this.
How about Qaddafi and his sons, did they rape girls too?
No, but Saiful Islam, Qaddafi's eldest son, has encouraged his group to kill and rape.
The cases which I have researched during the Libyan war in 2011. Many women came to me and they gave me stories about Qaddafi has raped them. But I did not include them in my research.
Can we conclude that the rape campaign committed systematically?
Yes, it was systematic.
Is there any political motive?
To put fear on Libyan people and stop them from resistance against Qaddafi regime.
When and where most of the rapes happened?
I can't let you know. It is against the role of human rights to talk about cities and areas.
Can you share about the most tragic incident?
The most tragic story was about 300 women naked have crossed the Libyan border to Tunisia.
When did it happen?
It happened on June 2011.
Do the victims still have trauma?
Yes, most of the victims still have trauma due to bad health services in Libya.
How long did you take time for this research?
The study took 12 months.