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Protests in Bahrain and Libya

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  • Protests in Bahrain and Libya

    BBC News - Bahrain protests banned as military tightens grip

    BBC News - Libya protests: Activists call for 'day of anger'

    Each country ofcourse has its own unique situation but it is amazing to see how events are unfolding across the region. Disappointing response from both countries but we should expect no better from Libya, Bahrain is another matter though. It will be interesting to see how Obama and co respond to the crackdown in Bahrain.

  • #2
    Bahrain's security forces are coming down hard on the protesters.
    Cow is the only animal that not only inhales oxygen, but also exhales it.
    -Rekha Arya, Former Minister of Animal Husbandry


    • #3
      Bahrain, Libya and Yemen try to crush protests with violence | World news | The Guardian

      Violence in Libya and Bahrain has claimed scores of lives and left many more injured as the two Arab countries were united by popular protests that continue to shake the status quo and sound alarm bells across the region and the world.

      Just a week after Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak, was forced to stand down, dozens of Libyans were reported killed by Muammar Gaddafi's security forces. Meanwhile Bahraini troops shot dead at least one protester and wounded 50 others after mourners had buried four people who were gunned down on Thursday in the worst mass unrest the western-backed Gulf state has ever seen.

      "We don't care if they kill 5,000 of us," a protester screamed inside the forecourt of the Salmaniya hospital, which has become a staging point for Bahrain's raging youth. "The regime must fall and we will make sure it does."

      Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa went on television to promise a national dialogue once calm has returned. But Bahrain's most senior Shia cleric, Sheikh Issa Qassem, condemned attacks on protesters as a "massacre" and said the government had shut the door to such dialogue.

      But while the unrest in Bahrain was broadcast instantly around the world, the unprecedented bloodshed in the remote towns of eastern Libya was far harder for global media to cover.

      Amid an official news blackout in Libya, there were opposition claims of 60 dead as diplomats reported the use of heavy weapons in Benghazi, the country's second city, and "a rapidly deteriorating situation" in the latest – and the most repressive – Arab country to be hit by serious unrest.

      Libyans said a "massacre" had been perpetrated in Benghazi, al-Bayda and elsewhere in the region. Crowds in the port city of Tobruk were shown destroying a statue of Gaddafi's Green Book and chanting "We want the regime to fall," echoing the slogan of the uprising in Egypt.

      Umm Muhammad, a political activist in Benghazi, told the Guardian that 38 people had died in the city. "They [security forces] were using live fire here, not just tear gas. This is a bloody massacre – in Benghazi, in al-Bayda, all over Libya. They are releasing prisoners from the jails to attack the demonstrators." Benghazi's al-Jala hospital was appealing for emergency blood supplies to help treat the injured.

      News and rumours spread rapidly via social media website such as Twitter and Facebook, but information remained fragmentary and difficult to confirm.

      In Yemen at least five people were reported killed when security forces and government loyalists clashed for a seventh consecutive day in the capital, Sana'a, Aden and other cities with crowds demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 32-year rule.

      Barack Obama said he was "deeply concerned" about the reports of violence from Bahrain, a close ally and the base of the US fifth fleet, as well as those from Libya and Yemen, and he urged their rulers to show restraint with protesters.

      Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, also condemned the killings of protesters in Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. "The Middle East and North Africa region is boiling with anger," he said. "At the root of this anger is decades of neglect of people's aspirations to realise not only civil and political rights, but also economic, social and cultural rights."

      In Cairo's Tahrir Square the influential Egyptian cleric Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi said the Arab world had changed and said Egypt's new military leaders should listen to their people "to liberate us from the government that Mubarak formed".

      Western nations have been struggling to adjust their policies in response to the security crackdowns in Arab countries. But Britain announced that it was revoking 44 licences for the export of arms to Bahrain amid concern over the violent suppression of protests in the Gulf state. The Foreign Office also said that eight arms export licences to Libya had been withdrawn, while a review of exports to the wider region continues. It has also emerged that the Ministry of Defence has helped train more than 100 Bahraini army officers in the past five years at Sandhurst and other top UK colleges.
      Looks like the nations' respective militaries in contrast with the Egyptian protests are not going to actually go in and protect the protesters.
      Everybody sing this song, DooDah, DooDah


      • #4
        Seems to me backing any strong man in the region may have some short term benefits for the US but, the for the long haul it will harm US interests. Are there other reasonable options for our fleet beyond Bahrain. A sunni police state governing a shia population is a bomb waiting to blow. Maybe the goal should be focused on pushing hard for greater inclusion from moderate voices of opposition to avoid 1979 redux. Post cold war I think the hostility bred is more dangerous than short term real politik advantages.
        Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.”
        ~Ronald Reagan


        • #5
          And so the Tunisia/ Egypt protests spreads /people power / UK , take note .


          • #6
            Security forces in Libya and Yemen have carried out more deadly shootings against anti-government protesters, while thousands of pro-democracy activists in Bahrain have returned to a major square following the withdrawal of security forces.

            Witnesses and media reports in Libya say security forces shot and killed at least 15 protesters in the second largest city of Benghazi Saturday, as crowds gathered for the funerals of other activists. Some residents say snipers opened fire after the mourners tried to storm a military building. They described the shootings as a massacre.

            Libyan authorities also cut off Internet services in the country Saturday, denying cyber activists a key tool to mobilize demonstrators. The anti-government protests that erupted last week represent an unprecedented challenge to the four-decade rule of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

            In Yemen, officials say police opened fire at opposition activists staging a daily march from Sana'a University toward the city center, killing at least one protester. Supporters of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh armed with clubs and knives also attacked the protesters, who responded by throwing stones. Similar confrontations have erupted in Sana'a for 10 days.

            In Bahrain, thousands of jubilant opposition protesters moved back into Pearl Square in the capital, Manama, Saturday, setting up a tent camp after the Gulf state's minority Sunni rulers ordered police and army forces to withdraw.

            Bahrain's ruling al-Khalifa family also offered to open a dialogue with the majority Shi'ite-led opposition, which has demanded democratic reforms to strip the constitutional monarchy of its powers to fill key government posts.

            Elsewhere, Algerian police blocked hundreds of anti-government demonstrators from marching in the capital, Algiers, Saturday. Protesters who tried to reach a central square chanted slogans for a "free and democratic" Algeria, but police turned many of them back.

            In Djibouti, authorities detained three top opposition leaders. Djibouti's chief prosecutor, Djama Souleiman, says the three were detained in connection with violent clashes Friday between opposition protesters and security forces.
            Anti-Government Protests Continue in Bahrain, Libya, Yemen | News | English

            Looks like some behind the scenes talk in Bahrain convincing them to reform whereas Libya and Yemen just continued on with the crackdown.
            Everybody sing this song, DooDah, DooDah


            • #7
              Benghazi Has Been Liberated!

              This article is saying a Libyan army unit defected and were the ones responsible for liberating Benghazi.

              Witnesses: Libya army says Benghazi 'liberated' from pro-Ghadafi forces
              Tens of thousands of demonstrators flooded the country's second largest city after security forces reportedly killed 173 people during clashes, 50 of them on Sunday afternoon and evening; Libya representative quits Arab League to protest 'oppression'.
              By News Agencies

              Members of a Libyan army unit told Benghazi residents on Sunday night that they had defected and "liberated" the city from forces supporting veteran leader Moammar Gadhafi, two residents said.

              Habib al-Obaidi, who heads the intensive care unit at the main Al-Jalae hospital, and lawyer Mohamed Al-Mana, told Reuters members of the "Thunderbolt" squad had arrived at the hospital with soldiers wounded in clashes with Gaddafi's personal guard.

              Read full article at:
              Violent clashes wrack Libya, after scores said killed in single day - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News


              • #8
                Benghazi Has Been Liberated!

                This article is saying a Libyan army unit defected and were the ones responsible for liberating Benghazi.
                I hope this is true, I hadnt been holding any hope that he could be overthrown

                rumours are that some protests have spread to Tripoli

                BBC News - Libya: Anti-Gaddafi protests spread to Tripoli

                edit - my bad, your article mentions events in Tripoli as well
                Last edited by tantalus; 20 Feb 11,, 23:50.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tantalus View Post
                  I hope this is true, I hadnt been holding any hope that he could be overthrown

                  rumours are that some protests have spread to Tripoli

                  BBC News - Libya: Anti-Gaddafi protests spread to Tripoli

                  edit - my bad, your article mentions events in Tripoli as well
                  No worries, we can never be too informed. ;)

                  I agree, this is great news. It seems with most of these uprisings, their success depends on which side the military takes.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Persey View Post
                    No worries, we can never be too informed. ;)

                    I agree, this is great news. It seems with most of these uprisings, their success depends on which side the military takes.
                    In this instant the 'sword is mightier than the pen';)


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Persey View Post
                      No worries, we can never be too informed. ;)

                      I agree, this is great news. It seems with most of these uprisings, their success depends on which side the military takes.
                      I would say in ALL of the uprisings


                      • #12
                        last night there were indications of some protests in Tripoli but it now appears that intense protests are occuring there

                        Libyan protesters have reportedly targeted the state television headquarters and set the central government building on fire, as violence in the capital city of Tripoli escalates.
                        Libya: Violent Protests Hit Tripoli As Colonel Gaddafi's Son Threatens Civil War If Unrest Continues | World News | Sky News


                        • #13
                          It is starting to look like a real possibility Gaddafi will not survive, he has lost control of several eastern cities, and while they have successfully dispersed protesters in Tripoli, he has seen a series of defections by foreign diplomats, combined with a number of tribes siding with the protesters. He played his card, a violent one, so I dont think he can talk himself out of it and bargain with reform with the protesters, having tried to suppress them violently, I imagine they will accept no less than his removal now.


                          • #14
                            2 Libyan mig pilots have flown their fighters to Malta after they refused to bomb civilians .Good for them .


                            • #15
                              Gaddafi loses grip, flees capital

                              * BBC Middle East coverage

                              Libya’s dictator Muammar Gaddafi is losing his 40-year grip on power and some reports say he has already fled the capital of Tripoli in a repeat of fellow desposed Arab leaders Tunisia’s Ben Ali and Egypt’s Mubarak.

                              The price of oil has jumped, Libyan diplomats are resigning, Bahrain has cancelled the first Formula One race and hundreds are dead after a new round of protests through out the Arab world.

                              Libya is a closed society, with all foreign media banned from the country, internet and telecommunications shut down and Al Jazerra broadcasts jammed as anti-government forces have taken control of many eastern cities.

                              Human Rights Watch say at least 104 people have been killed in Libya since anti-government protests erupted on Wednesday, but other reports say the death toll is much higher as security forces fire on unarmed civilians, including attacks by helicopter in Tripoli, and government forces are surrounded in Benghazi.

                              Protesters in Benghazi, where the revolt began and where more than 200 are said to have been killed, issued a list of demands calling for a secular interim government led by the army in cooperation with a council of Libyan tribes.

                              Libya is a country in turmoil. Police stations and government buildings, including the General People's Congress, or parliament, have been destroyed or set on fire.

                              Long queues have formed at food shops and petrol stations as residents stock up on essential goods. Businesses and schools remain closed.

                              In India, Libya's ambassador said he was resigning in protest at the violent crackdown.The justice minister and members of the Libyan mission to the UN have also quit.

                              In Egypt, hundreds have gathered in front of the Libyan embassy in Cairo. Similar demonstrations have occurred in Alexandria, where dozens of Egyptians and Libyans carried pictures of Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam with their faces crossed out.

                              The protesters in Cairo waved banners saying "down with the killer, down with Gaddafi" and "Gaddafi has hired African mercenaries to kill Libyans."

                              In Bahrain, the season-opening Formula One race to be held on March 13 has been cancelled after demonstrations in which police killed six protestors demanding reform. Hundreds spent the weekend camped in Manama's Pearl Square, which was reoccupied on Saturday after police withdrew.

                              In London, oil futures soared on fears of disruption to Middle East oil exports. The April contract for Brent oil on the ICE futures exchange was up $1.95, or 1.9%, to $US104.47 a barrel, having hit a two-year high of $105.08 earlier.

                              In New York, where markets are closed for the Presidents' Day holiday, the March contract was up $3.33, or 3.9%, at $US89.53 a barrel, its highest since February 4.

                              A strike at Libya's Nafoora oilfield was reported to have stopped production, according to Al Jazeera television. BP suspended operations for oil and gas drilling.

                              Libya is Africa's fourth biggest oil exporter, producing 1.6 million barrels a day.

                              In Switzerland, bankers have frozen tens of millions of Swiss francs in assets belonging to members of the former Mubarak regime in Egypt. UK authorities are considering a similar request, while the EU has also agreed to seize assets, as has the US.

                              Egypt's public prosecutor has officially ordered a freeze the foreign assets of the Mubarak family in the first sign that the deposed president would be held to account for pocketing assets said to be worth billions of dollars.

                              UK Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in Cairo yesterday, becoming the first foreign leader to visit post-Mubarak Egypt. He pushed for an end to emergency law, while refusing to talk to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.

                              In Yemen, at least five people have been killed during widespread anti-government demonstrations. Four were killed in the southern port city of Aden by gunfire as police moved to disperse protesters. In the capital Sanaa, supporters and opponents of President Ali Abdullah Saleh clashed on the streets.

                              In Morocco, some 5000 people thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding King Mohammed give up some of his powers, dismiss the government and clamp down on corruption.

                              In the capital Rabat, some people waved Tunisian and Egyptian flags in recognition of the popular uprisings that overthrew the two countries’ presidents.

                              In the media, Al Jazeera’s signal across the Middle East and North Africa has been plagued by jamming. Lebanese Telecommunications Minister Charbel Nahhas said the jamming "originated from Libyan territory" and it was also affecting Lebanese channels.

                              "They [Libyans] see what these televisions carry about what is happening in their country and they jam the transmission points ... so Al Jazeera is affected and we are affected too," Nahhas said.

                              The Guardian says dozens of reporters from the world’s largest media organisations have gathered at the Egyptian- Libyan border in the hope a blanket ban on foreign journalists will crumble after reports said the demonstrators had taken control of Benghazi.

                              The BBC has one permanent correspondent in Tripoli and staff journalists from the BBC World Service's Arabic operation but cannot verify their reports. Listen to one here.

                              "Their phone accounts – often accompanied by the sound of gunfire and mortars – are vivid. However, inevitably, it means we cannot independently verify the accounts coming out of Libya. That's why we don't In present such accounts as 'fact' – they are 'claims' or 'allegations'," BBC World Service news editor Jon Williams said.

                              In Tunisia, the interim government has formally requested the extradition from Saudi Arabia of ex-President Ben Ali, who is reportedly very ill in hospital after suffering a stroke.

                              In Algeria, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's government has banned large rallies. Several hundred members of an umbrella group for some opposition parties, human rights bodies and trade unions, gathered in central Algiers but were dispersed by police in riot gear.
                              Anyone else find it interesting this is a series of very African uprisings? There's lots of talk about Iran, Bahrain et al but all these are happening in the African states of the Caliphate, not the Arabian or Persian ones.
                              In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.