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Mosaic Blog

Tonight on Mosaic: Bahrain accused of rampant human rights violations

A funeral was held today for 15-year-old Ahmad Said Shams, shot to death by Bahraini security forces on Wednesday. Eyewitnesses said that security forces shot the victim outside his home and prevented him from receiving medical aid and from being transported to a hospital until he died on site. Al-Alam reports that during a protest called the “March of the Koran” in Manama, dozens were injured by live bullets and tear gas used by Saudi-supported forces to disperse crowds. Human Rights Watch has condemned the Bahraini forces for committing human rights violations against the people.

 

To commemorate “Land Day,” Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, and the 1948 territories protested against Palestinian division and Israeli occupation. Tonight, Future TV bring us a report on the demonstration, in which protestors carried Palestinian flags and chanted slogans calling for national unity.

 

Al-Jazeera reports from Libya, where Gaddafi's brigades have bombed the eastern entrance of Brega city. Revolutionaries said that Misurata was also bombed this morning, reportedly killing up to 20 people. According to numerous reports, Gaddafi's brigades took control of Ras Lanuf after bombing the revolutionaries' strongholds with heavy weaponry. The revolutionaries are now defending Brega after what they referred to as a tactical withdrawal from Bin Jawad, Ras Lanuf and Aqela. Former Libyan officials believe that the regime's days are numbered after the resignation of Gaddafi’s foreign minister.

 

The BBC reports that the Yemeni opposition has rejected a new offer made by President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The new offer entails transferring the president's jurisdictions to a transitional government, and in exchange the president would stay in power until the end of his presidential term in 2013. The protestors repeatedly stressed that they will continue mobilizing and organizing daily marches until the president steps down.

 

Dubai TV reports that the Kuwaiti cabinet has resigned in order to avoid questioning by the People's Assembly. This news comes a day after ministers from the ruling family resigned following questioning. The minister of oil, the minster of information, the foreign minister, and the minister of economic development all stepped down. The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah is expected to reappoint Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Sabah in order to form a new government.

 

 

 

 
 

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Tonight on Mosaic: Opposition suffers setback as Gaddafi recaptures Ras Lanuf

 

The BBC reports that Libyan opposition forces are trying to hold their ground after Gaddafi loyalists regained control of a number of coastal cities, including Ras Lanuf Port in eastern Libya. The fight between Gaddafi’s forces and revolutionaries continues in Bin Jawad, Misurata and a number of cities. US President Barack Obama said that he is looking at all options pertaining to the current crisis in Libya and is not excluding the possibility of providing the Libyan opposition with American weapons. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded by saying that the international forces in Libya have no right to arm the opposition.

 

A number of people were injured today in Bahrain in an attack by the government's Saudi-supported forces. Meanwhile, the Bahraini people held a march dubbed the ‘March of the Koran’ in order to affirm that it is a popular revolution, not a sectarian one. An al-Alam correspondent reported that Bahraini forces desecrated the Mosque of Imam Ali and also carried out a number of house raids, arresting unarmed civilians and terrorizing women and children. As the number of causalities continues to rise in Bahrain, opposition forces have declared next Saturday a “day of mourning for the country’s martyrs.”

 

Al-Jazeera reports from Yemen, where thousands demonstrated in Ibb Province demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down. The protestors are holding the president responsible for the violence that occurred in Sana’a on the “Friday of Dignity.” They also blame him for the arms storage facility explosion in Abyan province that killed and wounded dozens of people. Amidst these developments, hundreds of members of the Haima Tribe have announced they will join the revolution.

 

Under the banner ‘Friday of Perseverance,’ Iraqi residents took to the streets last week to demand political reform, an end to corruption, and an improvement of public services. Meanwhile, the government is preventing demonstrations by arresting civilians. Rafidain TV interviews writer and political analyst Dr. Abdul Karim al-Alluji about the media blackout on the revolutionary events occurring in Iraq. In contrast to the media attention other Arab states have received, he says it is strange that no one is interested in Iraq, “not Arab states, not the media, and not the masses.”

 

In Egypt, Nile TV reports that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has adopted an interim constitution. The new constitution includes 62 articles and describes the Arab Republic of Egypt as democratic state that will rely on the principles of the Islamic Shari’a laws as a main source of legislation. The constitution guarantees the rights of citizens to form assemblies, associations, unions, and parties but bans political parties based on religious authority. The constitution also states that all people are equal before the law and guarantees freedom of the press, religion, and expression.

 

 

 

 
 

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Tonight on Mosaic: Gaddafi seizes Misurata, world leaders discuss Libya's future

 

Al-Alam reports on developments in Libya, where international coalition forces continue to launch strikes against Gaddafi’s battalions in various areas of the country. Gaddafi forces have confirmed their control of Libya’s third largest city, Misurata. In London, leaders from over 40 nations have formed a contact group that will meet to discuss the situation in Libya. US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, who participated in the meeting, announced that military strikes launched by coalition forces must continue until Gaddafi completely submits to UN demands. Russia has stated it will not participate in the meeting and condemns NATO’s air raids, warning they could lead to a civil war in Libya.


Al-Jazeera reports that the Syrian government has resigned due to ongoing unrest and protests. Syrian TV said that President Bashar al-Assad accepted the mass resignation. Meanwhile, thousands of Syrians poured into the streets of Damascus and Halab in a demonstration to support President Assad, carrying the Syrian flag and pictures of the president. The demonstrators chanted slogans demanding stability for Syria and supporting the country's plan for reform. Assad has said he will abolish the emergency law that has been in place for nearly forty years.

 

In Dubai TV’s report, Yemeni medical sources say that the death toll from the explosion at the Abyan weapons factory has risen to 150. According to local officials in the town of Khanfar, factory workers warned residents not to enter the site after it was taken over and looted by members of al-Qaeda. Yemeni authorities say the explosion was caused by metal objects striking barrels containing gunpowder. Meanwhile, the political situation in Yemen has reached a stalemate as President Ali Abdullah Saleh says he will not make any more concessions and the opposition remains unsatisfied.

 

Thirty-three people were killed and over 100 were wounded in Northern Iraq today in an incident in which 11 armed gunmen disguised as members of the Iraqi military stormed a government building. The BBC reports that the gunmen occupied the building for several hours and took a number of hostages before US and Iraqi forces regained control of the building. Three provincial council members, a brigadier-general, and three police officers were all killed.

 

Tonight, NBN gives us a profile of the first president of the Syrian Arab Republic, Shukri al-Quwatli. Described as the most prominent advocate of Arab unity in modern times, al-Quwatli is revered for resisting Turkish and French colonization and fighting for Syrian independence. Al-Quwatli was imprisoned and sentenced to death multiple times but was twice elected president by the Syrian people and fought to achieve Arab unity until his death in 1967. 

 

 

 

 

 
 

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Tonight on Mosaic: Syria to lift emergency law as protests spread

BBC Arabic reports tonight that the Syrian authority has announced its decision to lift the state of emergency that has been in place in the country since 1963, amidst increased security at protests. However, in the announcement, spokeswoman Bouthaina Shaaban did not mention when the decision would be implemented. Thus, the Syrian people see this as yet another empty promise made by their government. In addition to restricting people’s basic rights, the emergency law allows authorities to arrest anyone seen as a threat to public security, detain people without a trial, to monitor phone calls, letters, and the media.

 

Al Iraqiya reports from Baghdad's Tahrir Square on the hundreds of protestors who took part in a peaceful rally today, calling for authorities to enhance charges against arrested terror suspects. They also called for the release of prisoners who haven’t received a trial. In the report, al Iraqiya states that the Iraqi protest seemed to be taking a different approach, calling for unity and denouncing a Baathist campaign that seeks to fuel sectarian division among Iraqis.

 

Al-Jazeera reports that at least 110 people were killed in explosions at an arms factory in Abyan province, Yemen. Medical sources say that the death toll is expected to rise as more bodies are recovered from the factory. A group of armed men seized control of the factory yesterday and looted its contents after the Yemeni army withdrew. The gunmen are now patrolling the streets of the city in armored military vehicles, armed with automatic weapons seized from the factory.


NBN reports on a new crime committed by Muammar Gaddafi and his regime: the rape of Iman al-Obeidi, “a lawyer who embodies the model Libyan woman, but who bothered the regime by being a free woman.” Iman was detained and raped by 15 of Gaddafi's mercenaries. The spokesman for Gaddafi's regime, Moussa Ibrahim, accused al-Obeidi of being drunk and mentally ill. The regime also called al-Obeidi's parents to ask that their daughter change her statement in exchange for financial compensation. Their request was denied. Meanwhile, activists on Facebook created a page in solidarity with Iman, entitled "We are all Iman al-Obeidi."

 

Al-Alalm also reports from Libya, where revolutionaries say they are engaged in battles with Gaddafi's battalions in the outskirts of Nawfaliyah, 120 kilometers east of Gaddafi’s tribal and military base in Sirte city. Gaddafi’s forces in Sirte are in a state of high alert, expecting attacks from revolutionaries in the near future. Meanwhile, coalition forces have launched a number of strikes on Gaddafi’s military bases in the city. Libyan state TV reports that Gaddafi’s regime has not killed any civilians, despite this ongoing violence.

 

 

 

 
 

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Tonight on Mosaic: Qatar and the Emirates join military intervention in Libya

Tonight, the BBC’s Arabic language channel reports on the ongoing demonstrations throughout Syria which call for the end of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. In a number of Syrian cities today, confrontations erupted between protestors and security forces leading to a number of deaths and injuries. Reports indicate that over 30,000 people participated in the day dubbed by Syrians as the “Day of Dignity.” The Syrian government tried to avoid the anticipated protests with an initiative that the government said would provide better services to citizens, guarantee better living conditions, and restore their freedom and dignity. Despite these efforts, protestors took to the streets chanting the familiar slogan, “The people want to topple the regime.”

 

In Libya, al-Jazeera reports that new countries have joined the international coalition forces, including the United Arab Emirates. Coalition warplanes continue their air strikes to prevent Gaddafi's brigades from advancing. The UAE has agreed to send 12 warplanes, including six F-16 fighters and six Mirage jets. In the past 24 hours, coalition forces carried out 130 raids. In Misurata, a medical source reported that 109 people were killed and nearly 1,300 others were injured in one week of battles.

 

Dubai TV reports that supporters of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh held a protest rally to mark what they referred to as the “Day of Steadfastness and Loyalty.” Saleh called on his supporters to hold solidarity protests around the presidential palace while thousands of anti-regime protestors held massive rallies in Change Square, marking a day dubbed the “Friday of Departure.” This news comes a week after 52 people were reportedly killed when Yemeni security forces opened fire at protestors. In a speech to his supporters, Saleh described protest organizers as “adventurous conspirators and drug traffickers.” He also said that he doesn't want to hold onto power but will only hand it over to “honest and capable hands, not malicious or corrupt ones.”

 

Tonight, ANB interviews the secretary-general of the Progressive Democratic Forum, Dr. Hassan Madan, about the current situation in Bahrain. Dr. Hassan believes that the situation in Bahrain should have been dealt with peacefully by meeting the public’s demands for political and constitutional reform. He said that the intervention by Gulf nation forces has complicated the issue and created an even deeper divide in the country. He states, “We welcome the Gulf to play its role. But this role should be limited to a political one that helps bridge the gap between the opposition and the government, which hasn't been the case so far.”

 

Al-Alam also reports on Bahrain, as massive protests broke out in Daraz, Dayer, Samahij, and Beni Jamra.. Eyewitnesses say that in response, eyewitnesses say Bahraini security forces launched fierce attacks on protestors, firing tear gas and live ammunition. The authorities also closed down all health centers, and threatened to burn down protestors' homes and strip protestors of their Bahraini citizenship if they don't put an end to the protests and sit-ins. Bahraini opposition blocs called on the U.N. and other Islamic countries to intervene to stop the crackdowns and massacres that are being carried out by authorities.

 

 

 
 

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