Following are excerpts
from an interview with Shweyga Mullah, who used to work as a maid for
Hannibal Al-Qadhafi, one of Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi's sons. The interview
aired on the Al-Jazeera network on August 31, 2011.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.