British pro-Palestinian activists raped in Libya: Deputy PM Awadh al-Barassi
TRIPOLI- Agence France-Presse
REUTERS PhotoTwo British activists with a humanitarian convoy destined for the Gaza Strip were subjected to a brutal gang rape by five men in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, the deputy prime minister said Thursday.
The two women of Pakistani origin "were brutally raped in front of their father," Awadh al-Barassi said on his Facebook page, condemning "a horrible act." Barassi said he had been to see the two victims in Benghazi on Thursday, and that the family was "in a very bad psychological state." The women, accompanied by their father on the convoy organised by Turkish NGO IHH, had been destined for the Palestinian coastal enclave blockaded by Israel when it was blocked from leaving Libya and entering Egypt.
The three decided to return to Benghazi accompanied by two more Britons, with the aim of getting a flight home. But when they arrived in Libya's second city they were abducted by five unidentified men.
A Western diplomatic source speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed the group had been abducted, but was unable to say the women had been sexually assaulted, pending medical reports.
The diplomatic source also said there had been arrests in the case, without specifying how many.
Another source said the family was now being looked after at the Turkish consulate in Benghazi.