Posts tagged ‘Repression’

2011/03/03

Libya’s Systematic Torture Revealed

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2011/03/01

Yemen Cleric: ‘An Islamic State Is Coming’

In Yemen today, thousands continued to demonstrate throughout the country, one day after opposition groups rejected President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s offer to form a unity government. Demonstrators and opposition groups are calling for an immediate end to Saleh’s three-decade rule.

Tens of thousands filling Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, chanted “the people want the downfall of the regime.” Other cities, including Ibb and Taiz, also reported demonstrators numbering in the tens of thousands.

Saleh lashed out at the United States today, accusing it of instigating protests and coordinating with opposition groups and complained of Washington’s pressure on Arab leaders to respond to protesters with restraint.

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2011/03/01

Iran: Report Of Mousavi, Karroubi Arrests


Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, and their wives, have reportedly been taken from their homes by security forces, according to the BBC.

Karroubi’s son told BBC he was told his father had been moved. A website tied to Mousavi is claiming the men have been taken to Heshmatiyeh jail in Tehran.

Iranian government officials denied the report, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

The arrests, if confirmed, come ahead of planned protests that are due to be held on tomorrow.

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2011/02/24

Rebels Take Misurata, Tripoli Reinforces

Zawiya Massacre: 100+ Gunned Down


[Ed. Note: The most recent update is here.

Previous updates, from earliest to most recent, are here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]


Massacre in Zawiyah
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Libya – Map – Control of Key Cities Feb. 23-24


UPDATE 22:58 GMT: Situation in Zawiya updated to “fighting on the outskirts”

UPDATE 22:18 GMT: Reports coming in that Zawiya is “under attack” right now. Not sure how they’re defining that yet.

UPDATE 21:55 GMT: The US State Department has issued a statement warning Americans “against travel to Libya.” [Ed. Note: Holy crap! They’re just getting to this now?]


Fatima, one of the innocents.
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Video of the “underground prison” discovered in Benghazi has been posted.
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UPDATE 21:20 GMT: Al Jazeera’s lead story tonight will be that former Libyan Justice Minister [Ed. Note: is that an oxymoron or what?] Mustafa Abdel Galil is saying that Gaddafi has biological and chemical weapons and will not hesitate to use them. [Ed. Note: That could be a red-line for the western powers. The US and its allies are well-aware of Gaddafi’s stockpile. See previous updates for that.]

UPDATE 21:03 GMT: Osama’s Tweet is making the rounds:


UPDATE 20:53 GMT: Via Twitter, Libyan bloggers are reporting that text messages sent to residents of Tripoli in the past 30 minutes by Libyana, the country’s leading cellphone provider, advised them that a local cleric issued a fatwa against watching television channels “like Al Jazeera,” that incite bloodshed.

UPDATE 19:50 GMT: AFP is quoting a Tunisian official saying that nearly 20,000 people have fled Libya into Tunisia over the past four days.

UPDATE 19:42 GMT: People in Benghazi are now tidying up.



UPDATE 18:42 GMT: The Swiss government has announced its intention to locate and freeze any Gaddafi assets that may be held by its banks.

UPDATE 18:36 GMT: The switch to the rebel side by Major General Suleiman Mahmoud is seen as pivotal by Tim Niblock, a professor of Middle East politics at Exeter University who has known Mahmoud for years since supervising his daughter’s Ph.D work. “Mahmoud is a key person because he’s been the military commander of eastern Libya more or less since Gaddafi came to power,” Niblock told The Wall Street Journal. “I think his ambitions at the moment would be to work to bring together some kind of coalition which enables a transitional government to work until there are elections. I doubt he’d want political power, but he would probably have to be a key person in any development.” Niblock said he believed there were already contacts taking place between the eastern rebel leaders and army commanders in the west of the country. “They all know each other very well and the intention would be to effect a more rapid and less bloody end to the regime. The Libyan army on the whole resents the way it’s been under-resourced and displaced by the security battalions.”

UPDATE 18:31 GMT: Reuters is reporting that Libya’s Quryna newspaper says 23 people have been killed and 44 wounded in Zawiya.

UPDATE 17:15 GMT: CNN’s Ben Wedeman tweeted: “Libyan Air Force pilot tells me that a colleague in base near #Tripoli says pilots executed for refusing regime orders.”

——-THE REST OF THIS POST, INCLUDING MORE VIDEOS AND PHOTOS, ARE ON THE JUMP PAGE

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2011/02/23

Barhain Frees More Political Prisoners

Thousands of anti-government protesters marched to Manama’s Pearl Square on Wednesday after Bahrain’s king released a number of political prisoners, an acknowledgment by the Sunni ruler of the mounting pressure being placed on him by the Shiite opposition.

The inmates included 23 Shiite activists on trial since last year for plotting against the state. The release underlined how much the the Gulf kingdom, a close ally of Washington, want to get reform talks with protest leaders under way. Their release was one of the major demands of the emboldened political movement seeking constitutional reform. A popular Bahraini blogger, Ali Abduleman, was also among those freed by the authorities.

A lawyer for the 23 activists, Mohammed al-Tajer, said that about 250 prisoners had been released so far. Most had been held as part of the crackdown launched on some Shi’ite opposition groups last August and during subsequent protests.

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2011/02/23

Revolution and the Muslim World


Revolution and the Muslim World by George Friedman

The Muslim world, from North Africa to Iran, has experienced a wave of instability in the last few weeks. No regimes have been overthrown yet, although as of this writing, Libya was teetering on the brink.

There have been moments in history where revolution spread in a region or around the world as if it were a wildfire. These moments do not come often. Those that come to mind include 1848, where a rising in France engulfed Europe. There was also 1968, where the demonstrations of what we might call the New Left swept the world: Mexico City, Paris, New York and hundreds of other towns saw anti-war revolutions staged by Marxists and other radicals. Prague saw the Soviets smash a New Leftist government. Even China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution could, by a stretch, be included. In 1989, a wave of unrest, triggered by East Germans wanting to get to the West, generated an uprising in Eastern Europe that overthrew Soviet rule.

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2011/02/22

Gaddafi Speaks: “I Will Not Leave Libya – I Will Be A Martyr”


[Ed. Note: More recent updates, from earliest to most recent, are here, here and here.

Previous updates, from earliest to most recent, are here, here, here, here, here and here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]

New video of an undated street battle in Benghazi.
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UPDATE 22:56 GMT: Just added a portion from today’s New York Times that draws on numerous previously published reports to piece together some of the connections between Gaddafi’s money and Italy – and the close ties between Gaddafi and Berlusconi. You can find the post and link to the full article here.

UPDATE 22:43 GMT: BBC just re-quoted an unidentified person’s quote that “reports on Libyan TV – pro-Gaddafi supporters entered hospitals, rounded the wounded and killed them in an unspecified location. Where is their help?! Who is out there defending these people??”[Ed. Note: Without discounting the possible veracity – and not that anyone covering this hasn’t jumped the gun (uh…battleships bombing Benghazi – guilty here), that’s as unconfirmed as unconfirmed can be for the BBC.]

UPDATE 22:37 GMT: A lot of tweets questioning the validity of the confirmed report (it came from Reuters) of loyalists being sent to Sabratha.

UPDATE 22:15 GMT: Fighting in Tripoli’s Sarman district was confirmed earlier.

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2011/02/21

Gaddafi Launches Airstrikes On Protesters

Gaddafi Says He’s In Tripoli, Little Else


[Ed. Note: This post has been continued and updated, from earliest to most recent, here, here and here.

Previous updates, from earliest to most recent, are here, here, here, here and here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]


UPDATE 01:03 GMT: Here’s a screen image pulled from Libyan state TV:


UPDATE 00:53 GMT: It’s been mentioned by a few people that Gaddafi could be on his way to do an actual interview. If so, perhaps there will be cameras for the arrival, à la “Red Carpet” style.

UPDATE 00:49 GMT: Some Twitter responses to Gaddafi’s “speech:”

SO I HAVE A 40 MINUTE SPEECH AND YOU SAY TOO LONG, MY DAD HAS A 15 SECOND SPEECH AND YOU SAY TOO SHORT – YOU GUYS JUST LIKE TO COMPLAIN – from @SeifIslamGaddfi

At least he kept his statement short enough to tweet. – from @acarvin

By the way, now that this has put Libya firmly on the map, I hope this is the last time someone says – “oooo your from Liberia??” – from @libyansrevolt

UPDATE 00:31 GMT: Full text of Gaddafi’s “address to the nation,” via BBC Monitoring: “I am satisfied, because I was speaking in front of the youth in the Green Square tonight, but the rain came praise to God it bears well. I want to clarify for them that I am in Tripoli not in Venezuela. Do not believe these channels they are dogs. Goodbye.”

UPDATE 00:31 GMT: So we went from “an address to the nation” to “a speech” to “an interview” to, ultimately, a soundbite as the long-time Libyan strongman gets in his car. Nice to know he holds his own umbrella, though. That was a nice “man-of-the-people” touch.

UPDATE 00:26 GMT: From Associated Press: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has appeared for less than a minute on state television and made brief remarks to say he was in the capital Tripoli and deny rumors he had to fled to Venezuela amid the unrest sweeping his country. Gaddafi was seated in the passenger seat of a car holding an umbrella up through the open door. It has been raining in the capital for two days. His remarks were aired about 2 a.m. local time on Tuesday.

UPDATE 00:19 GMT: Gaddafi appeared briefly on state TV – says he is in Tripoli, not Venezuela. Will update.

——-THE REST OF THIS POST, INCLUDING ADDITIONAL VIDEOS AND PHOTOS, ARE ON THE JUMP PAGE

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2011/02/21

Time For West To See The Distinctions

There has been a tendency among western commentators during the past few weeks of popular uprising in the Middle East and north Africa to interpret the events as occurring along starkly defined fault lines.

There are the people versus the regime; Islamists versus the secular; and autocratic, corrupt rulers pitted against a popular desire for democracy, human rights and economic inclusion. All of which contains some truths, but it remains a partial picture.

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2011/02/20

Gaddafi Jr: Criminals, Druggies, Drunks Bringing Civil War, Poverty, Colonialism

Benghazi Falls, Heavy Gunfire In Tripoli

220 Dead, Could Top 500


[Ed. Note: This post has been continued and updated, from earliest to most recent, here, here, here, here and here.

Previous updates, from earliest to most recent, are here, here, here and here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]


UPDATE 00:02 GMT: Still trying to figure out which speech was stranger – Saif Gaddafi’s or Hosni Mubarak’s.

UPDATE 23:57 GMT: Fresh reports of gunfire coming from Tripoli.



UPDATE 23:51 GMT: Al Arabiya is reporting that “the Egyptian news service MENA is reporting” Muammar al-Gaddafi has left Libya and is on his way to Venezuela. Don’t know what it’s worth. The son, Saif, never said the Gaddafi family was staying.

UPDATE 23:41 GMT: Gathering reaction now. Would love to read your comments.

UPDATE 23:39 GMT: A rambling speech.

UPDATE 23:31 GMT: An opposition leader just tweeted: “Mubarak tried this, and he left the next day, you are bringing a day of rage tomorrow”

UPDATE 23:28 GMT: “Europeans and Americans will come back forcefully” – they won’t accept an Islamic emirate. “They will come and occupy you by force.”

UPDATE 23:26 GMT: “If we agree on this step tomorrow, we can spare the blood…or prepare to go to civil war.”

——-THE REST OF THIS POST, INCLUDING ALL VIDEOS AND PHOTOS, ARE ON THE JUMP PAGE

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2011/02/18

Video Shows Harsh Libyan Crackdown

[Ed. Note: This post was continued and updated here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

The post that pre-dates this one is here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]


Human Rights Watch is reporting that at least 24 people have died in the protests against Muammar al-Qaddafi’s 41-year rule of Libya. Demonstrations are continuing today.

New video from Libya (WARNING: Graphic images):


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2011/02/18

Riots In Yemen, At Least 3 More Dead

Tens of thousands of Yemenis are taking part in anti-government demonstrations across the country, with pro-government supporters also rallying in several cities.

Three people have been killed in the demonstrations with one of the deaths taking place after a hand grenade was thrown at anti-government protesters in the city of Taiz on Friday.

Riots also flared overnight in the southern port city of Aden with protesters setting fire to a local government building and security forces killing one demonstrator, local officials said. Seventeen people were also confirmed to have been injured in those clashes.


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Protesters across the country are calling for president Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down after 32 years in power, in a movement that has now entered its eighth day in Yemen.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators turned out in the cities of Sanaa, Taiz and Aden for a ‘Friday of Fury,’ as it was termed by protest organizers.

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2011/02/17

Tweeting In Iran

2011/02/17

Schoolgirl Blogger Gets 5 Years In Syria

A Syrian court has sentenced a teenage blogger to five years in prison on charges of spying for a foreign country.

Tal al-Mallouhi was 17 when she was arrested in 2009 and has been held by authorities for the past two years.

Human rights groups said her long jail term was another sign of an intensifying crackdown on opposition in Syria, in the wake of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions.

Al-Mallouhi had written articles on her blog saying she yearned to play a role in shaping the future of Syria, which has been under the control of the Baath Party for the last 50 years.

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2011/02/16

Unrest Spreads: Protests Flare In Libya

[Ed. Note: This post was continued and updated, from earliest to most recent, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]


The BBC is reporting that “hundreds” of people clashed with police and pro-government supporters in the Libyan city of Benghazi, amid ongoing unrest in the region.

Demonstrators chanting slogans against the “corrupt rulers of the country” were attacked by police firing tear gas who violently dispersed the protesters, according to Al Jazeera sources. An online edition of a privately-published Libyan newspaper said that 13 people were injured.


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2011/02/15

Will Israel Permit Palestinians To Protest?

As Egyptian protesters overwhelmed the streets with celebration at their ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, Israel can no longer afford to ignore or stifle the nonviolent, popular resistance movements of the Palestinian people. These groups carry a remarkable message of healing for a region wracked with instability and division – but their ranks are losing hope. And the alternatives for such a deeply frustrated people are not peaceful protests.

Israel should be less concerned with the presence of Palestinian nonviolent demonstration movements than with what it would mean for them to fail.

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2011/02/15

US To Make Social Media Harder To Block

Days after Facebook and Twitter added fuel to a revolt in Egypt, the Obama administration plans to announce a new policy on Internet freedom, designed to help people get around barriers in cyberspace while making it harder for autocratic governments to use the same technology to repress dissent.

The State Department’s policy has been bogged down by debates over whether to view the Internet primarily as a weapon to topple repressive regimes or as a tool that autocrats can use to root out and crush dissent.

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2011/02/14

Iran Unleashes Fury On Its Protesters

Ed. Note: Apparently, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad think it’s fine for Egyptians to voice complaints but, as we saw after the contested election in 2009, when Iranians start to protest, they’re beaten like Persian rugs.


In Iran, thousands of opposition supporters defied a government ban and gathered at Tehran’s Azadi Square today, chanting, “Death to dictators.”

At least one person was killed and several others wounded during clashes with security forces firing rubber bullets, tear gas, and beating demonstrators with batons. Dozens were detained as they rallied in support of uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

The fiercest clashes were reported close to Azadi Square in the capital, and ambulances were seen coming and going. Witnesses told the Associated Press that at least three protesters were wounded by bullets, with dozens of others beaten by the security forces and taken to hospital.

The BBC reports sources saying similar protests are being held in the cities of Isfahan, Mashhad and Shiraz.

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