Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gaddafi "Bodyguard" Remembers Life From Age 15 as "Daddy Muammar's" Sexual Slave


Libyans erupt in glee at the news of the capture of Gaddafi's son, but for one Libyan woman — indeed, for many — that will not bring back the lives destroyed by Saif al-Islam's father.

In Tripoli, Annick Cojean meets a Libyan woman who was kidnapped by Muammar Gaddafi at 15 and remained his sexual slave for five years, as were the alleged members of the Colonel's much-vaunted personal bodyguard ("blue uniforms were for real [female] bodyguards who had undergone training; khaki was generally just for show"). Among other things that we learn from the Le Monde article is that the Libyan strongman, famously a supporter of leftist causes, was violent and sadistic in bed, that he was constantly taking cocaine, and that he also had "numerous" male lovers.
She is 9 years old when her family, originally from the East, moves to Sirte, the birthplace of Colonel Gaddafi. She is 15 in 2004, when chosen, amongst the girls in her high school, to present a bouquet to the "Guide" visiting the school where he has cousins. "It was a great honor. I called him 'Daddy Muammar' and it gave me goose bumps." The colonel puts his hand on her shoulder and strokes her hair, slowly. A sign of the hand to the address of his bodyguards, meaning: "That one, I want her." She would only learn of it later.

The next day, three women in uniform, dedicated to the service of the dictator — Salma, Mabrooka, and Feiza — enter her mother's hair salon. "Muammar wants to see you. He wants to give you gifts." The girl — let's call her Safia — follows willingly. "How to suspect anything? He was the hero, the Prince of Sirte."

She was taken into the desert, where the caravan of the Colonel, 62, is set up for a hunting trip. She is rapidly brought before a hieratic Gaddafi with piercing eyes. He asks about her family, the origins of her father, her mother, their financial means. Then he coldly asks her to stay and live with him. The girl is taken aback. "You'll have everything you want, houses, cars ..." She panics, shakes her head, says that she is close to her family, that she wants to study. "I'll take care of everything," he says. "You'll be safe, I assure you, your father will understand." And he calls Mabrooka to take the teenager in hand.

In the hours following, Safia, frightened, is set up with underwear and "sexy outfits". She is taught to dance, to strip at the sound of music, and "other duties". She sobs, asks to return home to her parents. Mabrooka smiles. Return to normal life is no longer an option.

The first three nights, Safia dances alone in front of Gaddafi. He listens to the tape of a musician whom "he will later kill." He looks at her, does not touch her. All he says is: "You will be my bitch." The caravan returns to Sirte, Safia with them.

And on the evening of his return to the palace, he rapes her. She struggles. He beats her, pulls her hair. She tries to flee. Mabrooka and Salma intervene and strike her. "He did so again the following days. I became his sex slave. For five years he raped me."

She finds herself in Tripoli, in the Bab Al-Azizia den, the area protected by three walls with several buildings, the living space of the master of Libya, his family, his employees, and the élite troops. At first, Safia shares a small room in the master's residence with another kidnapped girl from Benghazi, but who manages one day to escape. On the same level, in tiny rooms, two dozen girls, most of them aged between 18 and 19 years, are permanently on hold, usually recruited by the same three emissaries. These three brutal and ubiquitous women domineer this sort of harem, where girls, clad in bodyguard attire, are available for the colonel. Most only stay a few months before disappearing once the master tires of them. They have but minimal contacts amongst themselves, any personal conversation being prohibited.


Elle a 9 ans lorsque sa famille, originaire de l'est du pays, déménage à Syrte, la ville natale du colonel Kadhafi. Elle en a 15, en 2004, lorsqu'elle est choisie, parmi les filles de son lycée, pour offrir un bouquet au " Guide " en visite dans l'école où il a des cousins. " C'était un grand honneur. Je l'appelais "papa Mouammar" et j'en avais la chair de poule. " Le colonel a posé sa main sur son épaule et caressé ses cheveux, lentement. Un signe à l'adresse de ses gardes du corps, signifiant : " Celle-là, je la veux. " Elle l'a appris plus tard.

Le lendemain, trois femmes en uniforme, vouées au service du dictateur - Salma, Mabrouka et Feiza - se présentent au salon de coiffure que tient sa mère. " Mouammar veut te voir. Il souhaite te donner des cadeaux. " L'adolescente - appelons-la Safia - les suit de bon gré. " Comment se douter de quelque chose ? C'était le héros, le prince de Syrte. "

On la conduit dans le désert, où la caravane du colonel, 62 ans, est installée pour un séjour de chasse. Il la reçoit rapidement, hiératique, les yeux perçants. Il lui pose des questions sur sa famille, les origines de son père, de sa mère, leurs moyens financiers. Puis il lui demande froidement de rester vivre avec lui. La jeune fille est interloquée. " Tu auras tout ce que tu veux, des maisons, des voitures... " Elle panique, secoue la tête, dit tenir à sa famille, vouloir faire des études. " Je m'occuperai de tout, répond-il. Tu seras en sécurité ; je t'assure, ton père comprendra. " Et il appelle Mabrouka pour qu'elle prenne en main l'adolescente.

Dans les heures qui suivent, Safia, effarée, est équipée de sous-vêtements et de " tenues sexy ". On lui apprend à danser, à se dévêtir au son de la musique, et " d'autres devoirs ". Elle sanglote, demande à rentrer chez ses parents. Mabrouka sourit. Le retour à une vie normale ne fait plus partie des options.

Les trois premiers soirs, Safia dansera seule devant Kadhafi. Il écoute la cassette d'un musicien " qu'il fera tuer plus tard ". Il la regarde, ne la touche pas. Il lance simplement : " Tu seras ma pute. " La caravane rentre à Syrte, Safia dans les bagages.

Et le soir de son retour, au palais, il la viole. Elle se débat. Il la tabasse, lui tire les cheveux. Elle tente de fuir. Mabrouka et Salma interviennent et la frappent. " Il a continué les jours suivants. Je suis devenue son esclave sexuelle. Il m'a violée pendant cinq ans. "

Elle se retrouve vite à Tripoli, dans l'antre de Bab Al-Azizia, le domaine ultra-protégé par trois murs d'enceinte où vivent, dans divers bâtiments, le maître de la Libye, sa famille, des collaborateurs, des troupes d'élite. Au début, Safia partage une petite chambre dans la résidence du maître avec une autre fille de Benghazi, kidnappée elle aussi mais qui, un jour, parviendra à fuir. Au même niveau, dans des pièces minuscules, se tiennent en permanence une vingtaine de filles, la plupart ayant entre 18 et 19 ans, en général recrutées par les trois mêmes émissaires. Ces trois femmes brutales, omniprésentes, régentent cette sorte de harem, où les jeunes filles, grimées en gardes du corps, sont à la disposition personnelle du colonel. La plupart ne restent que quelques mois, avant de disparaître, une fois le maître lassé. Elles n'ont entre elles qu'un minimum de contacts, toute conversation personnelle étant interdite.