Yemen's National Council and Youth to the World: "Silence Kills"

Dubai TV reported on the escalating violence in several Yemeni cities in what has become known as the "Massacre of Hay al-Qa'a and Kentucky." Yemeni security forces, snipers, and gunmen opened fire and used rocket-propelled grenades against protestors in the capital Sanaa. Amnesty International reported that 26 people were killed and hundreds more injured in Sunday's attack. Despite the violence, Yemen's youth vowed to achieve "revolutionary resolve" and try the remnants of Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime. 

Saudi Arabia sending TANKS to help Saleh's massacre of Yemen protesters

 

Following the bloodiest two days Yemen has seen since March, activists uploaded graphic videos online of regime forces using excessive force to disperse protestors. The National Council for Revolutionary Forces issued a report detailing the human rights violations committed by Saleh's regime. The Council called on the international community, the UN Human Rights Council, and all “friends of Yemen” to condemn the Yemeni regime's merciless crackdown on protestors and disregard for human rights. 

 

Foreign Policy Magazine discussed the "Costs of Ignoring Yemen," as world powers continue to place Yemen on the "backburner" amid more pressing regional concerns. The US and Saudi Arabia's passive calls for a peaceful transition of power in Yemen were criticized, drawing attention to the fact that inattention to the Yemeni crisis has increased the risks of a real civil war in the country.

 

Meanwhile, the Yemen Post newspaper reported that Saudi Arabia is sending tanks to Yemen to help quell the revolution. This prompted cartoonist Carlos Latuff to portray Saleh as a puppet in Saudi Arabia's lap enjoying the "massacre" of peaceful protestors.

 

It has been repeatedly noted by Yemeni activists that there has been an ongoing media blackout on the events Yemen and that the crisis has received little attention from the international community. In the online campaign to mediatize the struggle of the Yemeni youths, a hashtag was created on Twitter, #SupportYemen, to encourage the use of social media to raise awareness that "silence kills." Also, a worldwide silent protest is planned to take place on September 24, during which demonstrators will "stand for two hours with tape over their mouths to symbolize the world's silence and indifference towards Yemen."

 
 

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Tonight on Mosaic: Syrian activists form an opposition council in Istanbul

On the six month anniversary of Syria’s uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, members of the Syrian opposition met in Istanbul today to form a united Syrian National Council. The council is made up of 140 members, including dissidents who have been exiled and opponents living in Syria. Future TV reported today that the council’s objectives include maintaining the peaceful nature of the revolution, toppling Assad’s government within six months, and forming an interim government to establish a pluralistic, democratic state. 

 

Earlier this week, the UN Human Rights Council appointed three experts to investigate the human rights abuses against civilians in Syria, including children. According to the UN, at least 2,600 people have died in the past six months of unrest that has swept Syria. 

 

The opposition is mobilizing its supporters to participate in tomorrow’s protests on what is being called the “Friday of perseverance until the downfall of the regime.” Last Friday, Syrians participated in the “Friday of International Protections” with the hopes that the international community would step in to protect civilians. Russia, China, India, and Brazil continue to oppose the UN-imposed sanctions and foreign intervention in Syria. While the Obama administration and European leaders issued statements calling for President Bashar al-Assad to step down on August 18, it is unlikely that protestors will get outside help they want, at least for now, according to the Economist.

 
 

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Tonight on Mosaic: Bahrainis plan silent protest for 'dignity'

Bahrain: The Bahraini Coalition for a Republic called on citizens to participate in a silent protest in the commercial center of al-Marfaa called "encircling dignity" in order to avoid an assault by security forces. A number of political societies have also called for "the return to Martyrs' Square," formerly known as Pearl Roundabout, on September 23 and 24. In another development, al-Wefaq Society commended the Jordanian people for refusing to send Jordanian forces to oppress the Bahraini people and described the move as 'admirable.' 

 

Syria: Russia warned that terrorist organizations could arise in Syria if President Bashar al-Assad's government collapses. Russia has refused to join the harsh US-led sanctions against Damascus and has supported political dialogue rather than military intervention to end the violence in Syria. 

 

Yemen: Nine people have been killed north of the Yemeni capital Sanaa in clashes between armed tribesmen and Republican Guard units loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Politically, the Yemeni opposition rejected President Saleh's bid to authorize his deputy to sign the Gulf initiative. The Joint Meeting Parties described Saleh's bid as a "political game" and a "maneuver" to cling to power and to "buy more time." 

 
 

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Tonight on Mosaic: UN calls on Yemen to halt attacks on peaceful demonstrations

Yemen: The United Nations demanded the Yemeni government put an end to the attacks and use of live ammunition against civilians. In a statement, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime to immediately release all detainees arrested for peacefully protesting. Meanwhile, Yemeni protestors in Sanaa flocked to Change Square to take part in a rally called for by the Organizing Committee of the Youth Revolution, demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down and be prosecuted. 

 

Syria: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the Syrian security forces killed three people today. Two died when security forces opened fire on a funeral in the outskirts of Hama, and the third died during a raid in Deir az-Zour. Several protests occurred in Daraa, Hama, Homs, and Deir az-Zour on what is being called the "Tuesday of Anger" against Russia, which still supports the Syrian regime and is preventing any move against Syria at the UN Security Council. Protestors hoped to relay their message to Russia by burning the Russian flag. 

 

Libya: Residents of Bani Walid continued to flee the city today as battles between the revolutionaries and Gaddafi's battalions continue. Supply and aid convoys follow close behind the revolutionaries to provide them with the necessary food, ammunition, and fuel for battle. Field hospitals also move alongside the battles, taking into consideration the terrain of the site and conditions of the battle. 


Egypt: Former vice president and intelligence chief, General Omar Suleiman testified in front of the Cairo Criminal Court today in the case against former President Hosni Mubarak, his two sons, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adli, and six others. They are accused of ordering the killing of protestors during Eygpt's January 25 revolution. The court issued a ban on media broadcasts of the court proceedings and on the publication of witness testimony.  

 
 

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Tonight on Mosaic: World powers react to Syria's "Int'l Protection Friday"

 

Syria: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country is ready to host a meeting of Islamic nations in order to help Syria solve its problems. His statement came as demonstrations occurred in a number of Syrian cities today in what activists called the "Friday of International Protection." Head of the Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee Mikhail Margelov said his country's position on the situation in Syria will not change. He expressed Moscow's opposition to any foreign interference to find a solution to the Syrian crisis. 

 

Yemen: Protestors took to the streets today in several Yemeni cities in response to a call by the youth of the revolution for a "Peaceful Revolutionary Escalation" against Ali Abdullah Saleh's the ruling regime. The opposition hopes the movement will break the political deadlock in Yemen caused by the absence of the Yemeni president, who is still in Saudi Arabia receiving treatment for injuries sustained during an assassination attempt in June.

 

Egypt: Tens of thousands of demonstrators have once again taken to Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square, demanding the military government be replaced with a civilian one. Protestors gathered in the square after the Friday prayers to join the protest dubbed "Correcting the Path." Protestors say all political prisoners must be released and an investigation launched into the conduct of officials responsible for the violence used against them. Activists are angry over the slow pace of reform by the ruling military council and want a clear road map and comprehensive timetable for transition in Egypt. 

 

 
 

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Tonight on Mosaic: Syrian opposition appeals to international community

 

Syria: Human rights activists reported that security forces stormed several towns in the countryside of Idlib this morning. Yesterday, 34 people were killed by security forces, according to the Syrian Revolution General Commission. On the second consecutive day of security operations in Homs, Syrian state media reported that eight security members were killed by what it referred to as terrorist groups. The opposition has named tomorrow the "Friday of International Protection" in the hopes that the international community will step in to help protect Syrian civilians. 

 

Libya: The International Criminal Court announced today that has it requested the International Criminal Police Organization, Interpol, issue an arrest warrant for Muammar al-Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi on charges of committing crimes against humanity. This comes after Gaddafi denied fleeing from Libya to Niger in an audio message. On the ground, the National Transitional Council dispatched additional forces to the town of Bani Walid. A spokesman for the revolutionaries said clashes broke out last night after Gaddafi's battalions launched attacks on the revolutionaries from inside the town. 

 

Bahrain: Security forces launched a fierce attack on activists who were celebrating the recent release of doctors and workers from the regime's jails. Saudi-backed Bahraini security forces fired live ammunition, sound bombs, and tear gas to disperse and pursue the protestors. Politically, the Bahraini opposition has accused the US and the UK of collaborating with Manama in the murder of civilians and of supplying the regime with internationally-banned arms and ammunition. The opposition also condemned the Arab League for ignoring reports of human rights violations in Bahrain.

 

 
 

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Tonight on Mosaic: Gaddafi disappearance fuels speculation about his wherabouts

Libya: Muammar Gaddafi's whereabouts remain unknown. Several reports indicate that Gaddafi left the city of Bani Walid and is headed to Libya's southern borders with Niger and Chad. However, the US State Department said there is no evidence that Gaddafi or his family have crossed the border into Niger. A State Department spokesperson said that the Niger authorities informed the US ambassador that those who crossed the border into Niger on Monday night were high-ranking officials of Gaddafi's regime. Many believe that the revolutionaries' delayed entry into Bani Walid and Sirte gave Gaddafi and his family more time to escape. 

 

Egypt: The fourth trial session of ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak and his top associates has resumed in Cairo. Eighty-three year old Mubarak appeared before the court with his two sons Alaa and Gamal, former Egyptian Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and a senior police officer, Ahmed Ramzi. They are being charged with ordering the killing of hundreds of protestors during the popular January 25 uprising. Hundreds of security vehicles, armored cars, ambulances, and fire trucks lined the streets surrounding the courthouse. 

 

Syria: Seven people were killed and several others injured in Syria in yet another military operation in Homs. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said soldiers and security forces used heavy machine guns near the Khaled ibn al-Walid Mosque. Meanwhile, Syria has requested to postpone the scheduled visit of Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi on Thursday. The secretary-general intends to propose an Arab initiative to Syrian officials in order to end the crisis that has lasted six months.

 

 

 
 

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Tonight on Mosaic: Ban Ki-moon urges the world to unite and take action on Syria

Syria: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the acts of violence in Syria and called on the international community to adopt a unified position on the situation. The UN has reported that over 2,000 have been killed since the beginning of the Syrian uprising last March. Today, activists said that security forces killed two people today, as military vehicles continue to surround the city of Homs and patrol its streets. 

 

Bahrain: As the peaceful pro-democracy movement continues in Bahrain, so does the heavy handed government crackdown. In addition to the security operations on the ground, regime forces are now conducting operations against demonstrators from the air. It has been revealed that the poisonous tear-gas bombs used by Manama's forces against protestors are imported from the United States. These bombs have killed a number of Bahrainis over the past months, including 14-year-old Ali Jawad who was recently killed by a tear-gas canister during protests on Sitra Island during Eid ul-Fitr. 

 

Yemen: The organizing committee of the Yemeni revolution urged all Yemeni communities to participate in protests throughout the country as part of a new phase of escalations to topple Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime. Demonstrators took to the streets today demanding that President Ali Abdullah Saleh not return to Yemen. They also demanded that Saleh's son, the chief commander of the Republican Guards, be tried on charges of ordering his forces to shell Taiz. 

 

 
 

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Tonight on Mosaic: Syrian protestors demand the execution of Assad

 

Syria: The movement against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is gaining momentum as anti-regime protests continue across various Syrian cities, despite the relentless campaign of raids and arrests. On the eve of a Friday dubbed "Death Not Humiliation," the Syrian opposition has renewed their call for staging additional protests after the Eid ul-Fitr holiday. In a video released online, Hama Province Attorney-General Adnan Bakkour announced his resignation in protest of the crackdown on protestors. He also denied the authorities' claim that he was kidnapped by an armed group.

 

Libya: Russia has recognized the Libyan National Transitional Council as the legitimate representative of the country's authority ahead of the "Friends of Libya" International Conference in Paris. Meanwhile, Muammar al-Gaddafi affirmed in a new audio speech that he will not turn himself in and will continue fighting. The Libyan Transitional Council has extended its deadline for the surrender of Gaddafi's forces in Sirte by one week. 

 

Yemen: Confrontations between pro- and anti-Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh activists were renewed in the southern city of Taiz as hundreds of people demonstrated in the eastern city of al-Bayda. They called for massive protests on Friday, under what they named "revolutionary resolve" against Saleh's regime. The past two days witnessed a political and media debate between the Yemeni president and his opponents. Saleh, who is carrying out his duties from the Saudi capital of Riyadh and appeared in good health, accused his opponents of "lies, corruption, hatred, and envy."

 

 
 

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Tonight on Mosaic: Bahraini teenager killed in anti-regime protest

BahrainSaudi-backed Bahraini troops attacked anti-government protestors in the island city of Sitra, killing a 14-year-old boy. Witnesses say the victim was hit in the head by a tear gas canister fired from close range. Reports say the city's hospital refused to admit the critically injured teenager and that he died shortly afterwards. It is believed that hospital authorities refused to treat the wounded teenager for fear of being arrested by security forces.

 

Libya: Clashes broke out between Muammar Gaddafi's battalions and Transitional National Council forces in the Um al-Qanadil region and its surrounding areas, close to Sirte. Chairman of the Council Mustafa Abdul Jalil gave Gaddafi's loyalists in Sirte until this coming Saturday to surrender before using military force. The revolutionaries are approaching Sirte from both the east and west but are refraining from launching attacks in the hopes of a negotiated surrender of the city. Meanwhile, the whereabouts of Gaddafi himself still remain unknown.

 

Syria: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 473 people were killed in Syria during the month of Ramadan, including 360 civilians and 113 soldiers and members of the Internal Security Forces. Twenty-five minors and 14 women are among those killed, but the death toll does not include victims killed during the military operations in the city of Hama. Amnesty International confirmed that 88 Syrians, including ten children, died in detention centers and police stations between April and August.

 

 
 

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