Al Jazeera reports that rebels in Free Benghazi are coming heavy fire from Gadaffi's military and its mercenaries: "The international community is late in intervening to save civilians from Gaddafi's forces. Today in Benghazi there will be a catastrophe if the international community does not implement the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council. We appeal to the international community, to the all the free world, to stop this tyranny from exterminating civilians." Read the rest
A team of BBC journalists in Libya were kidnapped by security forces loyal to the Gadaffis. They were hooded, imprisoned, beaten, and subject to repeated mock-executions. While imprisoned, they witnessed horrific torture of rebels who'd been captured by Gadaffi's forces.
One of the three, Chris Cobb-Smith, said: "We were lined up against the wall. I was the last in line - facing the wall.
"I looked and I saw a plain-clothes guy with a small sub-machine gun. He put it to everyone's neck. I saw him and he screamed at me.
"Then he walked up to me, put the gun to my neck and pulled the trigger twice. The bullets whisked past my ear. The soldiers just laughed."
A second member of the team - Feras Killani, a correspondent of Palestinian descent - is said to have been singled out for repeated beatings.
Their captors told him they did not like his reporting of the Libyan popular uprising and accused him of being a spy.
The third member of the team, cameraman Goktay Koraltan, said they were all convinced they were going to die.
Gaddafi forces beat up BBC team
Libya: Eyes on Benghazi - Boing Boing
Libya Calling - Boing Boing
Operation "Libya White Fax" - Boing Boing
Libya: conflict extends to hospitals - Boing Boing
Glued to events in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain - Boing Boing
Libya's UN mission asks world to defend Libyans from Gadaffi ...
Poignant quote from student rebels in Libya - Boing Boing
Following the Libyan uprising - Boing Boing
Libya: Audio interview w/ man dodging gunfire as militias attack ... Read the rest
Charlie Brooker's commentary on Gadaffi's erratic atrocities -- and the western leaders who've kissed up to him over the years -- from last week's Ten O'Clock Live is some of the most nose-milk-spurting material ever aired. I wish that all of Ten O'Clock Live's clips were on YouTube, as it would be amazing blogfodder -- the show is better than The Daily Show most weeks, IMO (I've asked, C4 say their lawyers won't let them because there are clips of the BBC, Sky, etc, which is some pretty weird fair dealing analysis).
Ten O'Clock Live
Gadaffi sends text-spam offering bribes to counter-revolutionaries ...
Gadaffi jams satellite phones and TV, mobile phones - Boing Boing
Colonel Gaddafi uses Botox to maintain own youth, beauty - Boing Boing
Libya's UN mission asks world to defend Libyans from Gadaffi ... Read the rest
Soldiers and police in Beghazi, Libya's second city, have thrown in with protesters on the ground and declared the city to be "Free Benghazi." The Guardian is carrying eyewitness reports of more than 4,000 foreign mercenaries being brought to the country to fight for Gadaffhi, some of whom are in custody of the revolutionary army. The "ransacked" government buildings are flying pre-Gadaffhi-era flags.
Read the rest
An air force officer, Major Rajib Faytouni, said he personally witnessed up to 4,000 mercenaries arrive on Libyan transport planes over a period of three days starting from 14 February. He said: "That's why we turned against the government. That and the fact there was an order to use planes to attack the people."
Numerous witnesses in Benghazi have said that while artillery was used against citizens, air force planes did not fire on them here. They did, however, according to Faytouni, drop two bombs inside the Rajma military base to stop weapons falling into the hands of anti-government forces.
"The two colonels who defected in MiGs had refused orders to bomb the people," he said, referring to a pair of air force officers who fled to Malta in their jets on Monday. He added: "There were also two helicopters that flew to Tunis."
All around Benghazi there were indications that Gaddafi has lost control of the city. The military is no longer operating checkpoints, which are now manned only by a handful of traffic police. Every physical sign of the dictator has been taken down or burned.
Saif Gadaffhi, son of Muammar, deliverer of speeches in which he pledges to hold dictatorial power until he has expended his last bullet, did his PhD at the London School of Economics on "THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE DEMOCRATISATION OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE INSTITUTIONS: From 'Soft Power' to Collective Decision-Making?"
This dissertation analyses the problem of how to create more just and democratic global governing institutions, exploring the approach of a more formal system of collective decision-making by the three main actors in global society: governments, civil society and the business sector. The thesis seeks to make a contribution by presenting for discussion an addition to the system of international governance that is morally justified and potentially practicable, referred to as 'Collective Management'. The thesis focuses on the role of civil society, analysing arguments for and against a role for civil society that goes beyond 'soft power' to inclusion as voting members in inter-governmental decision-making structures in the United Nations (UN) system, the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other institutions.
The thesis defends the argument that inclusion of elected representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in tripartite decision-making structures could potentially create a more democratic global governing system. This conclusion is supported by a specially-commissioned survey of leading figures in NGOs and IGO decision-making structures.
"THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE DEMOCRATISATION OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE INSTITUTIONS: From 'Soft Power' to Collective Decision-Making? (PDF)
Is this Irony or Absurdity?: Saif al-Islam Al Qadhafi's Disseration Read the rest
The Guardian's liveblog of the news coming from Libya is fantastic, in a gripping and sickly horrible way. From the troops and mercenaries massacring demonstrators to the weird, rambling speech of Saif Gadaffi (Muammar's son) blaming drug addicts and foreigners for his people's uprising and threatening to murder the whole country to keep it in his family's hands, it's all there, with frequent updates. The Younger Gadaffi's loose grip on reality can be further explored on his moribund Twitter feed (Google translation to English).
There's also an incredible set of photos of the Libyan uprising on Flickr user Fadhomar's stream.
Renesys has information on the blocks in Libyan Internet coverage: "Two-thirds of Libyan routes came back to life at 6:01 UTC (8:01 local time), and the remainder were restored nine minutes later. At the moment, spot checks of Libyan domains and traceroutes into affected networks indicate that connectivity has been restored, and Libya is back on the Internet." (Thanks, @Re6smith!)
Read the rest
10.28am - Libya: On Audioboo, a group called feb17voices is collecting audio recordings from Libyans reporting on what is happening in their country. Here is a transcript from one from Saturday:
My name is Rahma, I am located in Tripoli right now, I am heading out to Fashloom area, they have heard that Fashloom is beginning to protest that ... and other suburbs are sort of rioting and protesting anti-government, and because of these riots the cops as we speak are shooting live ammunition and grenades at them.
This gut-wrenching video (after the jump) shows peaceful protestors being fired on with automatic weapons by Bahrain's military. The comment thread on the YouTube video attains a new peak in awfulness, even for YouTube videos, with rage-filled illiterates variously blaming Iranian provocateurs, Israel, the USA, Shiites, Sunnis, and whomever else is handy, interspersed with people convinced that gunshots don't really sound like that.
Meanwhile, Al Jazeera's coverage continues to be the best thing going, followed closely by the Guardian.
Bahrain's army deliberately kills peaceful protesters with live rounds ( automatic weapon )
(Thanks, Superface, via Submitterator!)
Bahrain: anti-government protests continue despite brutal ...
Bahrain: peaceful protests turn violent as police attack ...
Glued to events in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain - Boing Boing
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Bahrain: in protest crackdown, regime appears to have tightened ...
Bahrainis use Google Earth to spy on royals' palaces - Boing Boing Read the rest