Three women participating in a humanitarian aid caravan to Gaza were reportedly raped by Libyan soldiers in Benghazi, after being kidnapped by the soldiers and a taxi driver.The caravan has been stalled at the Libyan-Egypt border for several weeks, after having travelled from Britain with humanitarian aid bound for Gaza.
The victims were taken to a Libyan hospital, where they were visited by Libya’s deputy Prime Minister, Awad al-Basari. He told reporters with the Libyan national television station al-Hurra, “Sadly [the perpetrators] belong to the army, but they don’t reflect the ethics of Libya army.’
Al-Basari added that the victims “are in a very bad psychological state. They were raped in front of others, in front of their father. This is a heinous crime.” He did not give any indication as to whether the perpetrators have been captured.
Two of the women were sisters, who were kidnapped along with their father. All three were part of the humanitarian aid caravan.
The caravan was organized by the aid group IHH, based in Turkey, and was named ‘The Mavi Marmara’ after a Turkish aid ship that was attacked by Israeli forces in international waters while en route to Gaza. Ten activists were killed in the attack, nine of whom were Turkish and one, Furkan Dorgan, who was American.
The Israeli government recently entered into talks with the Turkish government to apologize for that assault and determine a just compensation for the families of the victims.