Magdulein Abaida: a Libyan women’s rights activist in exile

Magdulein Abaida was campaigning for women’s equality during the drafting of the new Libyan constitution when she was abducted and tortured by a militia group in 2012. She was forced to flee to the UK where she obtained asylum. REDRESS filed a complaint before the UN demanding an apology and compensation for the harm she suffered.

In April 2021, CEDAW, the UN body that monitors the implementation of the main global treaty on women’s rights, found that Libya had violated Magdulein’s rights by failing to investigate her detention and torture. They also urged Libya to adopt measures addressing gender-based violence. As the first of its kind, this is an emblematic decision for human rights defenders and gender-based complaints in the MENA region. You can watch her story below.