Thursday, February 17, 2011

The challenge wins Libya

Libya seems to turn earned by the winds of Arab protest. Early Wednesday morning, the second largest city, Benghazi was the scene of clashes between security forces and hundreds of demonstrators denouncing the regime of Moammar Gadhafi.
Activists are calling on Facebook and Twitter to a national demonstration on Thursday to demand the departure of Colonel Gaddafi, who has ruled the country since 1969 and a constitution and economic reforms and political scope. The mobilization will mark the fifth anniversary of the demonstration against the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad to the Italian consulate, in which nine people were killed.
According to the advocacy organization Human Rights Human Rights Watch, nine activists were arrested in Tripoli and Benghazi, to prevent it seems to participate in events on Thursday.
Like other Arab regimes, the government of Moammar Gadhafi has tried to defuse the dispute by proposing to double the salaries of officials and Wednesday by releasing 110 detainees Islamic Group Libyan Islamic fighting. Only 30 members of this group, accused of plotting to overthrow Moammar Gaddafi on suspicion of links with Al Qaeda, remain in detention.
In Benghazi, the protesters first gathered outside the headquarters of the Libyan security forces to denounce the arrest of the advocate of human rights Tarbel Fathi, according to a Libyan activist based in Switzerland, Fathi al-Warfali . The event quickly became an anti-government tone.
Fathi Tarbel was released after a meeting with a powerful head of the Libyan security, Abdullah al-Sanousi, but protesters continued to demonstrate, through Benghazi to win the main square in downtown, according to Fathi al-Warfali. The event lasted until 4 am Wednesday, the activist added, citing an "unprecedented state of turmoil."
Confirmation from independent sources was impossible, given the tight control exercised by the Libyan regime over the media.
However, amateur videos posted on the Internet showed protesters waving placards and chanting "No God but Allah, Moammar is the enemy of Allah" and "Down with corruption and corrupt." The police and pro-government militiamen were quickly intervened to disperse the demonstrators, firing rubber bullets and spraying protesters with water cannons.
Another video, dated the same day, shows people fleeing current while echoing gunfire. Then we see protesters evacuate a young man in white clothes stained with blood.
According to a Libyan security official, who requested anonymity, 14 people including ten policemen were injured. The official said that some protesters were armed with knives and stones.
These events occur after the failure of talks between the government and a committee representing the families of hundreds of prisoners killed during the suppression of uprisings of 1996 in Abu Salim prison. Libya has undertaken to compensate the families, but the committee requires that those responsible are brought to justice.
Monday, several opposition groups in exile had called for the overthrow of Qadhafi and a peaceful transition of power. Demonstrators also called the dismissal of Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, according to witnesses and video on the internet.
A Zentani in the south (120km south of Tripoli), hundreds of people marched through the streets and burned the headquarters of security forces and a police station, according to witnesses quoted by al-Fatih Warfali. They then set up camp in the heart of the city, chanting "the people want to overthrow the regime." Resentment against Gaddafi is strong in this city where many officers were behind the failed coup of 1993 against the Libyan leader.
A Beyida, east of Benghazi, the security forces have arrested several activists seeking Sheikh Ahmed al-Dayekh, a cleric who had criticized corruption and Gaddafi in Libya during a Friday sermon.
The official Libyan news agency, JANA's, has ignored the anti-government protests, referring only manifestations of supporters of Colonel Gaddafi in the capital Tripoli, and Benghazi and in other cities. The news agency quotes a statement of pro-Gaddafi demonstrators who promise to "defend the revolution and the guide" Libyan. The statement deals with anti-government protesters as "cowards and traitors"

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