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One student in his mid-20s who graduated from medical school in Libya and is preparing to take his physicians' licensing exam said that the man from the embassy called late on Tuesday night and identified himself as a cultural liaison.
"He said, 'Listen, you're going to have to come … it's not your choice, it's best you go, it's better than the consequences'." the student said.
"I said, what do you mean, the consequences? And he said, 'You'll lose your scholarship.' And I said, 'Are you threatening me?' And he said, 'No it's not a threat, it's the reality'."
The cultural liaison said he had a list of names and that the government would note those who attended, the student said.
"I felt embarrassed, I felt coerced," he said.
Another student who also received a late-night phone call on Tuesday said that the caller, a man he knew, told him he was carrying out government instructions. The student said he too was threatened with the loss of his scholarship.
"I told them I had an exam coming up in the next few days and they told me, 'It's a serious situation, you have to go,' and if I don't go they told me, 'Most probably (the government) will cut off your scholarship,'" the man said.
"We have your birthday and we have your full name and we need you to say that you are coming," the caller said.
Both students said they had spoken with more than a dozen peers who also reported receiving similar threats.