Slander Charges Filed Against Alleged Libyan Rape Victim

The men accused of raping Eman al-Obeidy have filed counter charges against the woman for slander, a Libyan government spokesman said on Tuesday.

The spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, said the investigation is ongoing into the case of al-Obeidy, who burst into a Tripoli hotel on Saturday and asserted she was raped by troops loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, a dramatic assertion seen on TV across the globe.

Her mother said Monday that her daughter is still being held, a claim that contradicts an earlier statement from the government, which has said that al-Obeidy was released and is at home with her family.

"Yesterday, late at night at 3 a.m., they called me from Bab al Aziziya," Gadhafi's compound in Tripoli, al-Obeidy's mother told Al-Jazeera television Monday.

"And they told me: Make your daughter Eman change her statement ... and we will release her immediately and whatever you ask for you will get, whether money, or a new apartment, or guaranteeing financial security for you and your children. But just tell Eman to change her statement."

A government spokesman said Sunday that al-Obeidy had been released and was with her family.

Ibrahim said then that al-Obeidy and her family were asked if they wanted to be interviewed by "one or two, preferably female, reporters to verify that she's fine, she's healthy, she's free with her family." He refused to take further questions on the issue, repeatedly stating that Libyan society is "very conservative."

A group of lawyers and human rights activists tried to approach al-Obeidy's sister's house Monday, but were blocked by security forces. The sister's mobile phone has apparently been turned off, a source with the opposition in Tripoli told CNN, and no one has seen her since the incident at the hotel.