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Rape claim woman 'held hostage'

The parents of the Libyan woman who claimed she was gang raped by Gaddafi's troops have said she is being held hostage at the Libyan leader's compound in Tripoli.

Iman al-Obeidi's distraught entrance into a Tripoli hotel on Saturday, seeking to tell foreign reporters about her rape was broadcast around the world.

She was tackled by waitresses and government minders and dragged away from the site in the ensuing melee.

In interviews broadcast on Al-Jazeera Television, her parents countered government claims that their daughter had been set free after the hotel incident and was now with a sister in the Libyan capital. They also dismissed the claims of a government spokesman who said she was a prostitute.

The parents said she was a lawyer and that she is now being held at Gaddafi's compound in Bab Al-Aziziya in the capital.

"I don't feel ashamed, instead my head is up high," the mother told Al-Jazeera, saying her daughter "broke the barrier that no other man could break" by coming forward about her rape.

In the footage, the teary-eyed mother holds the Libyan opposition flag around her shoulders and says her daughter is "a hostage, taken by the tyrants". She also pleads for help from the "youth of Tripoli."

The mother said she was called from the Gaddafi camp, told her daughter was held there and asked to tell her to change the rape claim in return for freedom and other benefits.

"Whatever you ask for, you will get: build a new house or get the money," the mother said the caller offered.

Ms al-Obeidi had told foreign reporters on Saturday that she was detained by a number of Gaddafi troops at a Tripoli checkpoint on Wednesday. She said they were drinking whiskey and handcuffed her. She said 15 men later raped her.

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