WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush has marked International
Women's Week by paying tribute to women reformers -- but one of those
he cited is really a man.
"Earlier today, the Libyan government released Fathi Jahmi. She's
a local government official who was imprisoned in 2002 for advocating
free speech and democracy," the president said in a speech at the
White House on Friday.
The only problem was that, by all other accounts, "she" is
in fact "he".
"Definitely male," said Alistair Hodgett, spokesman for the
human rights advocacy group Amnesty International, whose representatives
tried to see Jahmi in prison during a recent visit to Libya.
The U.S. House Committee on International Relations listed Jahmi as
a 62-year-old civil engineer who was sentenced to five years in prison
"after he reportedly stated during a session of the People's Conference
... that reform within Libya would never take place in the absence of
a constitution, pluralism and democracy."
In remarks before a VIP audience, Bush cited Jahmi as a courageous
reformer along with Aung San Suu Kyi, the woman democracy icon and Nobel
Peace Prize laureate living under house arrest in Myanmar.