Following are excerpts from an interview with Shweyga Mullah, who worked as a maid for Hannibal Al-Qadhafi, one of Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi's sons. The interview aired on Al-Jazeera TV on August 31, 2011.
"She Burned Me After Six Months; She Scalded Me with Water"
TV studio anchor: "The story of the maid, found by the rebels when they entered the Tripoli home of Hannibal, Al-Qadhafi's son, came as a surprise to many of them. The maid was found chained, and there were scalding marks and signs of torture on her body. The maid gives a horrifying account of the kinds of torture she suffered at the hands of Hannibal's wife. Our correspondent in Tripoli, Muhammad Al-Baqqali, met the maid and visited Hannibal's home."
Reporter: "She can hardly believe that she has been saved from death, just as she still cannot grasp that she is safe from all the forms of torture that were inflicted upon her, as she says. Shweyga, an Ethiopian maid, had thought that fate was smiling upon her when she got the opportunity to work in the home of Hannibal, Al-Qadhafi's son. But she discovered that she entered a home from which no servant ever emerged unscathed."
Shweyga: "She burned me after six months. She scalded me with water. Like this, with water. She used to grab my hand, tie it behind my back, and then she would pour water over me. Boiling water."
Reporter: "Any form of torture was permitted – she was beaten, starved, and prevented from contacting her family. It appears the mistress of the house derived pleasure from torturing others."
Shweyga: "I wanted to escape, but didn't know how. All the doors were guarded. There was no way I could get out."
Doctor: "When We Went In, We Found Her… Suffering From Burns All Over Her Body – on Her Limbs, Her Legs, Her Chest, Her Stomach, and Her Entire Head"
Reporter: "Shweyga suffers from second-degree burns all over her body, and from a broken hand. She is in need of long-term treatment in order to recover from her physical and psychological injuries."
Libyan doctor: "When we went in, we found her without any clothes on. She had not received any treatment, and she was suffering from burns all over her body – on her limbs, her legs, her chest, her stomach, and her entire head."
Reporter: "The story began here, in a beach home belonging to Hannibal Al-Qadhafi. The victorious rebels who entered it met with a great surprise – a bound maid, bleeding and suffering pain."
Libyan rebel: "When the rebels entered the house, they were surprised to find a woman, completely burned. She was in a very bad state. They transferred her to an apartment in a village, where she stayed for two days, because the roads to the hospital were not safe. After two days, an ambulance arrived, and she was taken to hospital to receive treatment for burns."
Reporter: "This case is not exceptional in the lives of Hannibal and his wife. Because of his torturing a servant of his, Libya underwent a diplomatic crisis with Switzerland two years ago. Back then, the supply of oil and threats by Al-Qadhafi resolved the crisis. Now, all this is a thing of the past. Hannibal and his wife have fled, leaving behind the maid to recount her story to all.
"While the mistress of the house or her children were playing works of world music, the maid would lie bleeding, as a result of her torture, in the room next door. This appears to be a double tragedy – the tragedy of the maid and a human tragedy, when conscience disappears." […]