She was held for two days by Gaddafi’s militia and raped by 15 men.
With this explosive accusation, Iman al-Obeidi strode into a Tripoli hotel full of Western journalists on Saturday.
Hotel staff attempted to silence her, one brandishing a butter knife and another trying to cover her head with a coat.
Government minders shoved back reporters as she was dragged out screaming to an unknown destination. Several journalists were hit or knocked down in the disturbance and a TV camera was destroyed.
The scene was typical of the pressure-cooker atmosphere reigning in the Libyan capital, where rumours are flying and news changes by the hour.
The government spokesman had an explanation:
“She seems, this is initial reports, to be suffering mentally. They are dealing with her. They are investigating, checking where her family is, who she is. She is refusing to tell them who she is, who her family are, her father, sister, brothers…as for physically handling her to take her out, this would be done anywhere in the world, if someone storms a place,” said Mousse Iambi, who also claimed she was drunk.