Libya rape claims: Seeking the truth

What did you make of International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo's forceful statement that "rape is a new aspect of the repression" by Col Muammar Gaddafi?

He went on to suggest that he might have - or be getting - evidence showing that containers of "Viagra-type" drugs were being bought and systematically distributed to frontline troops to encourage the rape of civilians.

A couple of weeks ago I met two young Gaddafi soldiers-turned-prisoners in Misrata who claimed to have taken part in a gang-rape and said they knew of many similar incidents. They also mentioned being given drugs, but for various reasons I found that part of their story the least consistent and credible, and didn't include it on my blog.

Mr Ocampo has a well-known flair for the dramatic, and has reached some devastating conclusions from what he admits is still incomplete research.

This is the television report on the topic that I've just put together here in Benghazi.

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Media captionMany women have suffered during the ongoing conflict in Libya

With luck and pressure and hard work, the full truth (or at least a substantial chunk of it) will emerge about the rapes. But I doubt that will happen before the conflict is resolved.

In the meantime it was interesting to note the emphatically negative assessment of Mr Ocampo's conclusions by Cherif Bassiouni, who is leading a UN investigation on the situation in Libya. "Massive hysteria," was his thundering put-down.

So two trenchant, male voices boom across the table. But are they drowning out the quieter voices we should all be listening out for?

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