Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, February 2011
Libya Hit by Arab Revolution Against Dictatorship and Corruption
Violent protests rock Libyan city of Benghazi
Anti-government protests gripped Libya’s second-largest city of Benghazi overnight Tuesday in an unprecedented display of dissent in the tightly controlled, oil-rich North African nation. Medical officials said 38 people were injured in the clashes.
By William EDWARDS (video)
16/02/2011, FRANCE 24 (text)
Situated between Tunisia and Egypt and ruled for 41 years by an absolute dictator who has no official status, Libya was the latest scene of protests overnight Tuesday when demonstrators in the country’s second-largest city took to the streets, clashing with police officials, according to witnesses and opposition groups.
Hundreds of people demonstrated in the port city of Benghazi in a rare show of discontent in the North African nation that has been tightly controlled by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The Benghazi-based, privately-owned Quryna newspaper, quoted Abdelkrim Gubaili, the director of a local hospital, as saying 38 people were injured in the clashes, most of them security officials. They had all since been discharged from the hospital, he added.
France 24 speaks with Abdullah Darrat, spokesperson for anti-Gaddafi group By FRANCE 24
In an interview with FRANCE 24 Wednesday, Abdulla Darrat - a US-based Libyan exile who is a spokesman for Khalas!, an opposition Web site also known by its the English translation Enough! – said the protests were sparked by the arrest of a Libyan human rights activist.
The activist, Fethi Tarbel, is known for his work with families of the victims of a 1996 massacre at the notorious Abu Salim prison where more than a 1,000 prisoners were believed to have been executed.
“The protests, which began by demanding Fethi Tarbel’s release, quickly dissolved into an anti-Gaddafi protest,” said Darrat. “It seems that the momentum of the protests in Benghazi has carried on to other towns.”
A major port city that is home to a number of nationalized energy companies in the oil-rich nation, Benghazi has a history of distrust for Gaddafi. But there were no immediate signs of the protests moving to the capital of Tripoli.
“The real question is whether the unrest in Benghazi will be able to contaminate another important city, Tripoli," said Hasni Abidi, director of the Study and Research Center for the Arab and Mediterranean World in Geneva.
The prospect was still unclear, Abidi added, especially since "the repression was very tough last night, and this regime does not hesitate to fire into crowds, to imprison and even torture people."
In a possible concession to the protesters, an unnamed human rights activist told Reuters that 110 members of banned militant group the Libyan Islamic Fighting group were to be released from the Abu Salim prison.
YouTube video, state TV show pro-government demonstrations
Amateur footage posted on the video-sharing site YouTube showed protesters holding signs and chanting anti-government slogans overnight Tuesday outside the security headquarters in Benghazi. Witnesses said the demonstration then moved to four other sites in the city.
YouTube footage of overnight protests in Beghazi
Security officials, apparently caught by surprise, used water cannons on the crowd and witnesses said security officials were driving their cars into the crowd at high speeds. Eyewitness reports are hard to confirm in the hermetically sealed North African nation that has been administered under a quixotic ideological mix of socialism and Islam known as “Jamahiriya” since Gaddafi’s 1969 coup.
Unconfirmed YouTube footage from Tuesday morning shows protesters gathering outside a Benghazi police station when panic sweeps the crowd and gunshots are heard.
Amateur YouTube footage of protesters outside a Benghazi police station Tuesday morning.
In a phone interview with Reuters, a Benghazi resident who declined to be named said the situation last night “was bad”. But he added that the city had calmed down Wednesday morning.
Libyan state television did not air footage of anti-government demonstrations Wednesday. The state broadcaster instead aired footage of a pro-government demonstration in Tripoli early Wednesday, where participants chanted slogans against Al Jazeera, the pan-Arabic satellite TV station that has extensively covered the uprisings in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt.
Taking a page out of successful protest movements in Egypt and Tunisia, Libyan opposition groups are using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to call for a day of protests Thursday.
38 injured in Libyan anti-gov't unrest
TRIPOLI, Feb. 16, 2011 (Xinhua) --
At least 38 people were injured in clashes in the eastern city of Benghazi, a Libyan newspaper said Wednesday.
Security forces and demonstrators clashed in the city late on Tuesday, in what it branded the work of "saboteurs" among a small group of protestors, Libya's Quryna newspaper said.
The protest started as a sit-in by families of prisoners killed in a 1996 shooting in Tripoli's Abu Salim prison demanding the release of their lawyer Fethi Tarbel.
Tarbel had been detained for having "spread rumors that the prison (in Tripoli)" was on fire, according to Quryna, but was release after the demonstration.
The demonstrators gathered in the wee hours of the morning in front of police headquarters and chanted slogans against the " corrupt rulers of the country."
As many as 14 people were injured in the clashes, including three demonstrators and 10 security officials.
Anti-government protesters have also called on citizens to observe Thursday as a "Day of Rage," in hopes of emulating the recent popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt to end Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's 41-year old rule.
The country's official news agency made no mention of the protests, saying only that supporters of Gaddafi were demonstrating in the capital Tripoli, in Benghazi and in other cities.
Editor: Xiong Tong
Anti-gov't protests erupt in Libya
TRIPOLI, Feb. 16, 2011 (Xinhua) --
Protesters clashed with the police and government supporters in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Wednesday, according to Al-Jazeera TV.
Demonstrators gathered in the wee hours of the morning in front of police headquarters and chanted slogans against the "corrupt rulers of the country."
As many as 14 people were injured in the clashes, including three demonstrators and 10 security officials, reported Libya's Quryna newspaper.
Anti-government protesters have also called on citizens to observe Thursday as a "Day of Rage."
They hope to emulate recent popular protests in Tunisia and Egypt to end Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi's 41-year old rule.
The country's official news agency made no mention of the protests, saying only supporters of Gaddafi were demonstrating in the capital Tripoli, in Benghazi and in other cities.
Editor: Xiong Tong
Libya's oil revenues hit 32 bln dollars in 2010: agency
TRIPOLI, Jan. 18, 2011 (Xinhua) --
The Libyan revenues from oil climbed to 40.5 billion dinars (32.43 billion U.S. dollars) in 2010, up 61 percent from a year earlier, the news agency Libya Press reported on Tuesday, citing Libya's Central Bank.
In 2009, Libya reported oil revenues of 25.1 billion dinars (20 billion dollars).
The oil revenues make up 92 percent of the country's 2010 revenues, which jumped to 43.6 billion dinars (35 billion dollars) about 35 percent higher than the 2009 revenues.
The agency attributed the rise to a remarkable rise in oil prices.
Libya has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa and it has started to lure foreign investors seeking to tap into the Libyan market after the removal of international sanctions.
It pumps more than two million barrels day-on-day to be Africa' s third largest oil producer after Angola and Nigeria. Libya wants to reach a target of three million barrels per day by 2012.
Editor: Xiong Tong
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