Print  Print Transcript
Close Window  Print

[Transcript]  Mosaic News - 02/23/11: World News From The Middle East [VIDEO]

Eastern Libya celebrates liberation from Gaddafi's rule as more officials abandon the regime

BBC Arabic, UK
Presenter, Female #1
Tens of thousands of people in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk took to the streets, rejoicing in the protestors' conquest of the city. The protestors seized control of Tobruk after a large number of military personnel joined them. The demonstrators gathered in the city carrying slogans condemning Colonel Gaddafi and accusing him of trying to divide the country. Meanwhile, the capital Tripoli is relatively calm as Gaddafi’s military forces take control of the city.

Reporter, Male #1
Tobruk is the most recent Libyan city to have announced its defection from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who is still clinging to power. The city was taken over by protestors after being joined by members of the army. Even the statue of the Green Book, which holds the political philosophy that Colonel Gaddafi’s regime has been following for the past 42 years, is no longer part of the people's daily lives. Protestors who gathered to celebrate the takeover carried slogans such as "Oil for the West, and freedom for Libya", and proclaimed victory. Older residents of the city who remember the fierce battle between the allied forces and German forces say that soldiers evacuated their positions after being bombed by forces affiliated with Gaddafi's son. These images, taken from areas not far from Tobruk where the protests began, show how protestors took control of city entrances and exits, and how they directed traffic. The Libyan leader's pictures were torn up, and the Libyan flag was replaced with the former administration's flag, in use before Gaddafi's reign. Reports from the Libyan capital say that pro-Gaddafi forces imposed a security cordon around Tripoli. Meanwhile, residents of the western areas made their way to Tripoli in support of protestors there. These images, the authenticity of which has not been confirmed, were taken last week and show the scene in a Benghazi street. Libyans say that these groups of people wearing yellow helmets are mercenaries coming from African countries to suppress the movement in Libya; they are pretending to be civilians.

Presenter, Female #1
In a speech broadcast on Libyan state TV, Gaddafi called on his supporters to attack what he referred to as "rats" protesting against his regime. He also vowed to execute everyone who attempts to undermine Libya's security, according to Libyan law. Gaddafi said that he would continue fighting until the last drop of blood leaves his body.

Gaddafi loses grip on power as more officials resign

Al Jazeera, Qatar
Presenter, Female #1
The division in the Libyan army persists after Interior Minister General Abdel Fatah Yunes al-Abidi announced his resignation. He called on the armed forces to join the people and respond to their demands. Libyan army brigades in the Jabal al-Akhdar province announced that they joined what they called "the Libyan people's revolution". In addition, a Libyan warship captain rejected Gaddafi's orders to bomb Benghazi and defected to Malta, joining two military pilots who refused military orders to use air force on protesters and fled to Malta the day before yesterday. Hadi Shalouf, a member of the International Criminal Court, considers hiring foreign mercenaries to crush the Libyan genocide. He said that Gaddafi's regime has brought approximately 50,000 mercenaries to Tripoli, and about 150,000 mercenaries throughout Libya.

Guest, Male #1 (Muammar Gaddafi)
It's time for work! It's time to march! It's time for victory!!! No turning back!!! March forward!!! Forward!!! Forward!!!! Revolution!!! Revolution!

Reporter, Male #1
Gaddafi will not leave the stage without adding to the bountiful list of titles he holds and characters he plays. The title "King of the Kings of Africa" has become too modest for the colonel, so he has added a new descriptor for himself: He is the glory and history. It is now the time for work, and it must start immediately since history does not wait. However, it's worth mentioning that the man accustomed to massive crowds in Green Square and numerous tents, was now missing an audience. Only a few people shook his hand after his speech, perhaps out of fear or obedience. Perhaps the time for work has indeed come, prompting these people to defect from the colonel. Those who oppose him say that the country is witnessing a revolution and that a revolution will create a history unlike the "historic Gaddafi." For this reason, the revolution doesn't have the luxury of waiting. Among the first to have fled the ship of history and turned his back on Gaddafi is his interior minister. His coup was carried out in an almost tragic way. Not only is he one of the closest people to the colonel, he is also a comrade in Gaddafi's revolution. But this did not prevent him from resigning and supporting what is now called "the February 17 Revolution".

Guest, Male # 2 (Libyan Interior Minister Abdel Fatah Yunes)
"I announce my resignation from all my duties in response to the February 17 revolution."

Reporter, Male #1
A few hours passed before army brigades in Jabal al-Akhdar joined the revolution.

Guest, Male #3
Communiqué No. 1: We, the officers and soldiers in Jabal al-Akhdar and its surroundings announce our unification with Libya’s youth. We are at the disposal of the people to safeguard their security and protect public and private properties. All armed forces should join us. In God we trust.

Reporter, Male #1
Prior to this defection, two pilots sought refuge in Malta. They were joined by a warship commander who refused to bomb his people. At the same time, there are reports of other military defections as the fate of Defense Minister Abu Bakr Younis becomes more mysterious. It is unclear if he resigned or was placed under house arrest. Yes, they are mercenaries Oh leader. They are repressing your people in Benghazi, Tripoli, and the rest of the country, as illustrated by images and confirmed by the opposition. Here, photos show those now known as the owners of the yellow helmets, as they attack the people of the Jamahiriya in a Benghazi street. Here, more images show Libyan citizens killed two days ago in the capital by the mercenaries' bullets. Some were arrested in Benghazi a few days ago and their passports reveal they're not Libyan. A member of the International Criminal Court considered it to be genocide punishable by international law. Here, oh leader, those who oppose you say this child, being washed and shrouded, was killed by the security forces. It is a war crime, oh leader, as your opposition says.

The international community isolates the Libyan leader over grave human rights violations

Dubai TV, UAE
Presenter, Male #1
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the international community cannot remain a spectator to the massive human rights violations happening in Libya. Sarkozy urged the European Union to impose 'concrete' sanctions against those responsible for the crackdown on anti-government protests in Libya. He also expressed hope that the EU will suspend its economic and financial relations with Libya. He added that measures must be taken to bring Libyan officials to justice and prevent them from entering EU territories. Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Council announced plans to hold on Friday a special session on Libya. Yesterday, the UN Security Council issued a statement condemning Libya for its use of force against peaceful demonstrators. The council also called for an immediate end to violence and for those responsible to be held accountable. The council urged Libyan authorities to take diligent steps to address the legitimate demands of the population. Our correspondent, Emil Barudi, reports from New York City.

Reporter, Male #2
It was not possible for the UN Security Council’s press release to ignore the Arab League's earlier statement about the situation in Libya. The UN used strong terms, but did not overpower those of the Arab League in order not to undermine its role.

Guest, Male #3 (Mark Grant, UK Ambassador to the UN)
We are very pleased that there was a strong message and statement. We support the Arab League's statement issued earlier.

Reporter, Male #2
The UN’s final statement was a combination of two draft statements discussed by the UN Security Council. The first statement, supported by many Western countries, includes a strong condemnation of any military intervention against civilian demonstrators around the world. The second statement, backed by China, Russia, and Brazil, deems that any severe condemnation may lead to interference in internal affairs of sovereign nations.

Guest, Female #1 (Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Brazil Ambassador to the UN)
Security Council members expressed grave concern about the situation in Libya, condemning the violence and use of force against civilians. They denounced the repression against peaceful demonstrators, and expressed deep regret over the deaths of hundreds of civilians. The council called for an immediate end to violence, and for steps to be taken addressing the legitimate demands of the population through national dialogue.

Reporter, Male #2
Before issuing its statement, the Security Council listened to reports and testimonies read by the Assistant UN Secretary-General for Political Affairs. The reports were sent by employees of UN organizations operating in Libya.

Guest, Male #4 (Lynn added Pascoe, UN under-secretary-general for political affairs)
No, we don't have any independently-verified images form there. As you are aware, making contact with Libya is very difficult. We are trying to contact people we know there. Due to a lack of confirmed reports, we are not in a position to provide an exact number of people dead and injured.

Reporter, Male #2
What has been issued by the UN Security Council was nothing more than a press release. Even if it were a resolution, it will not have likely changed the regime in Libya or liberated its people. However, it could serve as a building block for a nation that can't be built by anyone other than its people.

Presenter, Male #1, back
Last night, the Arab League held an emergency session on the situation in Libya. The council issued a resolution, suspending Libya from all sessions over its violent crackdowns on protestors. The council also urged Arab foreign ministers to study a proposal suspending Libya's membership in the Arab League. The council strongly condemned the crimes committed against the peaceful protestors. It also demanded an immediate end to all forms of violence. The council also rejected what it referred to as 'grave accusations,' by Libya, which claim that some Arab nationals are taking part in the violence against Libyans. The council called for the formation of an independent Arab fact-finding mission to investigate the recent incidents and Libya's accusations.

West remains lenient with Libya amid bloodshed

NBN TV, Lebanon
Presenter, Female #1
The West's timid reaction to the bloodbath in Libya proves that many Western countries’ concern for their own economic interests comes at the expense of the Libyan people's blood.

Reporter, Female #1
Amid the ongoing massacre in Libya by tyrant Muammar al-Gaddafi, the world remains silent. There has been nothing more than mild condemnation of the regime's brutality. Timid statements from Western governments affirm that the West is standing by Gaddafi. French newspaper La Croix reveals that Muammar Gaddafi has two means of controlling European governments. The first is oil. Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa and the eighth largest in the world. The second means of control is Libya's fundamental role in European immigration control. But the French newspaper believes it is inapt of European countries to think that the storm of freedom sweeping across the southern side of the Mediterranean will echo in Europe. Another French newspaper, Libération indicated that Western leaders welcomed Qaddafi into the international community in the name of fighting terrorism. In exchange, they sold him natural gas, oil products, and weapons that are now being used against protestors. The newspaper asserts that hundreds of Libyans today are paying the price for these exchanges. The newspaper quoted Patrick Ollier, friend of Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie and supporter of Gaddafi, saying in 2007 that Gaddafi is not what he used to be 20 years ago, and that he is longing for a respected position. French newspaper L'Humanité mentioned that the French government welcomed Gaddafi several years ago in Paris. According to the newspaper, Sarkozy is now silent and spineless, as he adopts a new kind of colonization mentality. In Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron was content with calling for an urgent investigation into the events even though the Libyan massacre litters the headlines of newspapers across Europe. The Times described the bloody colonel as "sullen", "serious" and "scared", stating that in the last several years Libya has been an example of how oppressive governments can be welcomed back into the international community. In the United States, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton merely demanded a stop to the bloodbath in Libya. The Washington Post quoted experts saying Libya has the advantage of having oil and any efforts to impose sanctions on the country will not receive international support. As for Italy, Berlusconi has strengthened the country’s relationship with Libya in the last several years since its largest oil supply comes from Libya. And let's not forget the deals that Spain and Russia have also signed with Libya. It seems as though the West will protect its economic interests until the bitter end, even though Ronald Reagan once described the Libyan regime as "the Mad Dog of the Middle East." It seems that the price may be the Libyan people's human rights and blood.

U.S. ends silence on ongoing violence in Libya

IBA, Israel
The United States has finally ended its silence on the ongoing violence in Libya. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said the Libyan government bears full responsibility for its actions. The turmoil of the Middle East has not escaped the attention of Saudi Arabia.

Yemeni officials resign over government violence

Al-Alam, Iran
Presenter, Male #1
Bahrain's top religious scholars called for a massive march to Manana's Pearl Roundabout following Friday prayers, to mourn the souls of martyrs who fell in the most recent events. Meanwhile, thousands of Bahrainis continue their protest for the fifth consecutive day. They confirmed their demand to topple the regime and create a national salvation government before beginning any dialogue with authorities. The demonstrators welcomed political detainees who were recently freed by a decision that is considered a modest response to the protestors' demands.

Guest, Male # 2
We call for dialogue.

Presenter, Male #1
Thousands of Yemeni civilians continue to demonstrate in front of Sana'a University, demanding to change the regime. This comes as ten members of the Yemeni parliament announced their resignation from the ruling party due to the government's use of extreme violence against demonstrators. Prominent parliament member Abdul Aziz Jobari, of the ruling General People's Congress party, announced his resignation along with six others because of the government's use of violence. Jobari added that it is the people's right to peacefully demonstrate. In the last week, nine parliament members of Yemen's ruling General People's Congress party resigned.

Reporter, Male #3
Demonstrators spent another night camped out in front of Sana'a University as they await the departure of President Ali Abdallah Saleh's regime. This wait was suddenly interrupted by Yemeni president supporters, who shot at demonstrators. A few minutes later, protestors gathered in front of the university to collectively counter the attack with the aid of security forces. However, the attackers fled, leaving behind two martyrs and over 10 injured. With this, Sana'a offered its first martyrs during these demonstrations, which have been ongoing throughout the country for the past week. The protestors, who spent the night in the square located in front of Sana'a University, are now calling the site Tahrir, or Liberation, Square, named after the symbol of the Egyptian revolution that forced President Hosni Mubarak to relinquish power nearly 10 days ago. The same scene and slogans for change are repeated across all Yemeni regions, stretching from the south to the center and reaching all the way to the north. Here, demonstrators filled the streets of the city of Sa'ada, chanting and carrying slogans in favor of toppling the regime and against creating additional hardship for the country. The thousands who participated in this demonstration demanded that President Ali Abdallah Saleh surrender to the people's wishes and resign immediately. The protestors also spoke against the government's political, economic and social policies. In Sa'ada, protestors accused the government of working for different foreign entities and saluted fellow demonstrators across Yemen.

Hundreds take part in fresh protests in Iraq

Press TV, Iran
In Iraq, in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, hundreds of protestors have taken to the streets of Sulaymanieh after the deaths of several demonstrators there. They’re calling for a probe into the killings of demonstrators by security forces. The protests have been ongoing since February 17.


** Contact Mosaic News: mosaicnews{at}linktv{dot}org