Blog RSS

Category: International, Violence against Women

Media Exposes Gadhafi Regime's use of Viagra To Encourage Rape

| June 9, 2011

Libya has been embroiled in a civil war for the past five months, and yesterday the International Criminal Court claimed that the Gadhafi Regime gave its soldiers Viagra-like drugs to encourage rape as a weapon of war.

"We have information to confirm that it was a policy in Libya to rape those who were against the government," said ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo.

This is the newest allegation against Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi and his regime of war crimes and other human rights violations.  The stories of rape in Libya burst on the scene in March when Eman al-Obeidi ran into a Tripoli hotel and told reporters that she had been gang-raped by Libyan forces.  She has been admitted to a special center in Romania, along with other refugees, to be treated for her physical and emotional trauma.

Today, Libyan diplomat Mustafa Shaban denied the accusation of the rapes and other human rights violations.  "We also deny indications of widespread and systematic attacks against civilians, or extrajudicial killings, or arbitrary arrest, detention and torture, or other abuses indicated in the report," Shaban said. He blamed the ICC's conclusions on "fabricated and erroneous information reported by media that is hostile to my country."

“It's really one of the most effective ways of victimizing and terrorizing communities," said Liesl Gerntholtz of Human Rights Watch.  She further went on to say “Particularly in a place like Libya where family honor is very important, you really undermine these incredibly important values for these communities...They are rapes that are very much about subjugation and dominance of the whole community, not just of the women and girls."

Using rape as an act of war is a heinous crime, and state-sanctioned rape is one of the most atrocious things a government can do.

The Women’s Media Center commends the work of the ICC in its investigation of the war crimes committed in Libya, and we  commend the media for its swift reporting on the issue.

You can read more at:

The Guardian

ABC News

Voice of America

Comments