Features include interactive map, in-depth stories, and more.Download now. »
The week's top five must-sees,
delivered to your inbox.
Mosaic | Feb 8
The 2011 Egyptian uprising was notable not just for toppling a dictator, but also for the way protesters used the internet and social media to comm...
Egyptian protestors demand the military council step down [Al Jazeera, Qatar]
Presenter, Male #1
In Egypt, clashes were renewed once again before dusk. The Egyptian Interior Ministry says those who it referred to as "troublemakers" insist on creating chaos and storming the ministry's headquarters and police stations in a number of provinces. The general prosecutor's office announced that an investigation will be held of a number of officials in the Interior Ministry. For its part, the ministry denied using fire weapons in confronting the protestors.
Reporter, Male #2
It's a new day and tension still dominates Mohammed Mahmoud Street that connects Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Interior Ministry headquarters. Ambulances rushed to the area to transport the wounded in the confrontations between the protestors and police forces. The Interior Ministry says its forces did not use any fire weapons on those it called "troublemakers," indicating these people strongly insist on reaching the ministry's building.
Guest, Male #3
You're speaking to us right now; you should see Mohammed Mahmoud Street.
Guest, Male #4
We reject the statement and we strongly denounce it.
Reporter, Male #2
In the center of the square, the sit-in is still ongoing, although the number of participants has decreased since yesterday. However, the political discussions are at their height. The statement by the chief of the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces did not satisfy the protestors in Tahrir Square.
Guest, Male #5
It's the same moves that Mubarak made. The regime, which did not fall, is dealing with the people in the same way. These are the steps and actions we saw during the first revolution.
Guest, Male #6
What's the difference between us and Tunisia? Tunisia overthrew the entire regime. But Egypt has still not completely removed the regime. All we did was damn the regime.
Reporter, Male #2
Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi accepted the resignation of the Essam Sharaf's government, and said parliamentary elections will be held on schedule and presidential elections will be completed before the end of June next year. Representatives of a number of political parties and many presidential candidates agreed with Lieutenant General Sami Anan, the chief of staff of the Egyptian armed forces, on ending the violence against the protestors, securing the right to peaceful protest, and forming a national salvation government.
Guest, Male #7
They entered the square and were kicked out. The square chanted against them. The square brought down this alliance between them and the military council. If they were truly part of the people and part of the square, then they could have conveyed the people's feelings to the military council. Instead, they went there to split the profits and positions between themselves.
Guest, Male #8
There are no parties in the square at the moment, so how do they represent us? I don't believe they represent us at all; they are ready to negotiate on everything. I think that's the opinion of the people in the square.
Reporter, Male #2
In between the protestors in Tahrir and the reaction of the ruling authorities, a kind of long-distance dialogue is being formed between the two fronts. It may be difficult to predict its results and the future of Egypt's democratic transition. What gathers these protestors is their doubt in the military council's intentions and a lack of trust in the elites who are dominating the political scene in the country.
Amnesty International condemns Egypt's army for rights abuses [IBA, Israel]
The ruling military leaders in Egypt have been condemned for human rights abuses. Amnesty International accused the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of being more ruthless than ousted president Hosni Mubarak. Yonnatan Gher, director of Amnesty International Israel told Iba's Erielle Reshef the council has failed to keep its pledge to support equality, social justice, democracy, and to uproot corruption.
Bahrain rights probe confirms authorities used systematic torture [Al-Alam, Iran]
Presenter, Female # 1
The head of the fact-finding commission in Bahrain, Cherif Bassiouni, said security forces committed many rights violations against protestors demanding reforms in the country. In his presentation of the commission's report on the ongoing protests in Bahrain, Bassiouni added that a lack of judicial supervision paved the way for more abuses against civilians and their properties, and houses of worship.
Guest, Male # 2
The commission's investigations proved that many detainees were subjected to torture, and other forms of physical and psychological violations: blindfolding, handcuffing, enforced standing for prolonged periods, severe beatings, punching, hitting with rubber hoses and electric cables on the feet, using whips, metal, wooden planks and other objects; electrocution; sleep-deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, verbal abuse, threats of rape, and insulting the detainees' religious sect. A number of places of worship were demolished during the February and March events; over 2,000 employees from the public sector and over 2,400 from the private sector were sacked.
Presenter, Female # 1
Bassiouni confirmed that security force used excessive force while arresting demonstrators and blatantly violated international regulations. He indicated the commission did not find any evidence of Iran's involvement in the protests witnessed in Bahrain.
Guest, Male # 2
The evidence presented to the commission regarding the role of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the internal events in Bahrain did not reveal a clear link between the events that took place in Bahrain and the state of Iran.
Presenter, Female # 1
For his part, the king of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, said his country's laws need to be amended to be made compatible with international standards and that reforms that secure national reconciliation are needed. Following the release of the fact-finding commission's report, al-Khalifa promised to hold accountable those accused of committing rights violations against Bahraini citizens during the wave of protests and replace those responsible for the violations. Al-Khalifa accused external forces of being behind the protests in his country, a clear contradiction of the commission's findings that considered the demonstrations a natural result of the Bahraini people's demands. The February 14 Coalition's first reaction to the royal court-appointed fact-finding commission in Bahrain was to call on the Bahraini people to take part in a day of anger marches as a response to the king's speech and the commission's report. The coalition described the commission as a "conspiracy and a deception." In a statement, the coalition confirmed the commission's report lacks any accusations against high-ranking officials, and pointed that it only made some recommendations, the majority of which were broad and flexible. The coalition also called on the masses of Bahrain to get ready for a grand return to martyrs' square in central Manama. The Saudi occupation-backed Bahraini forces attacked the home of martyr Abdel Nabi el-Aqel, who died this morning. The Khalifa regime forces fired tear gas inside the house, scaring women and children, which led the family of the martyr and those present to flee from the back window of the house. Many people were injured in the attack and others suffocated. The attack on the martyr's house came as a surprise, and without any justification.
Yemen's Saleh finally signs power handover deal [BBC Arabic, UK]
Presenter, Male #1
The Yemeni president signed the Gulf initiative in the Saudi capital Riyadh to transfer power peacefully in his country. After signing the initiative, Saleh requested that its implementation be monitored.
Guest, Male #2 (Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemeni President)
They should monitor, help, and stand witness to the implementation of the Gulf initiative and its timetable by enforcing the provisions of this initiative. We anticipate with all confidence that our brothers will see to this matter with their full attention. We will cooperate, and I will be the major cooperator with the next coalition government with participation from our brothers in the opposition and the General People's Congress party and its allies.
Reporter, Male #3
At last, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh decided to sign the Gulf initiative to resolve the crisis in his country, either with his personal signature or the signature of his representative. Saleh, who proposed the idea of this initiative and requested that it be drafted, called for Gulf intervention to settle the irreconcilable disputes with his political opponents and the protestors demanding the end of his regime. Saleh's agreement to sign the initiative came after months of back-and-forth negotiations, during which the provisions of the initiative were revised three times. Saleh withdrew from signing it three times as well. The signing came after months of unprecedented popular protests during which hundreds of protestors were killed or wounded and the country endured a long period of trouble and suffering. Some believe today's signing of the initiative may grant Saleh a secure and dignified exit, as it pardons him from judicial prosecution and helps him avoid the similar fate of his former counterparts in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. However, the said exit strategy remains dependent on Saleh's commitment to deliver his promises stipulated in the Gulf initiative, especially pertaining to his cooperation to restructure the army and security institutions, even though his relatives control its most important bases. Saleh will remain the honorary president for 90 days, which means he will remain as puppet master of many parts of government until he cedes them one by one. Therefore, reaching this phase of a political solution for the Yemeni crisis does not mean the end of it. There are immense challenges in front of this solution. First, hundreds of thousands of protestors flowing to the squares and public spaces reject any settlement of this kind with their president. Some of them demand his arrest, trial, and a freeze of his assets. Meanwhile, a number of parties in the opposition expressed their major fear of the possibility that Saleh will not commit to the Gulf initiative's provisions, or will at least delay their implementation. If that happens, his opponents believe there is the potential for an explosive military situation and a full-on confrontation with undesired consequences. On one hand, there is no room for all parties to be optimistic; and on the other, it should be taken into consideration that the parties' future stances on this political solution will decide the fate that awaits all sides of the conflict. Anwar al-Ansi, BBC.
Syrians stage 'Wednesday of civil peace' rallies [Future TV, Lebanon]
Presenter, Female #1
Supporters of the Syrian opposition held massive demonstrations across most Syrian cities and towns under the slogan "Wednesday of civil peace." On the ground, the regime's forces continued their military operations in several regions. Today's death toll has risen to 15.
Reporter, Male #1
"Wednesday of civil peace" is the new slogan adopted by the Syrian opposition to complete their protest mobilization. Meanwhile the regime continues to escalate its violent crackdowns, killing and injuring dozens of people on a daily basis. Several regions have begun a civil disobedience campaign and a general strike through next Saturday in solidarity with besieged Homs and other cities. Despite attempts by the Syrian authorities to tighten the noose on the protestors, a massive demonstration was launched from the Great Mosque in the town of Duma. President Assad's brigades were deployed to disperse the protestors and force the residents to open their businesses. Several neighborhoods in the city of Homs are still witnessing a bloody military operation, which include massive sweeps and arrests. In a notable development, opposition websites released video clips of Red Crescent ambulances being set on fire in the area of al-Bayada. The source added that Assad's brigades have deliberately set the ambulances on fire and blown them up to prevent them from entering the neighborhood and provide aid to victims. Assad's brigades also stormed the town of Tafas in Huran, amid heavy gunfire and random sweeps. The Syrian authorities deliberately cutoff mobile and internet services across various regions in Idlib. In the town of Sirmin, students held a massive demonstration demanding the execution of President Assad and the release of their fathers held by the regime. According to opposition websites, Syrian security forces indiscriminately opened fire at mourners attending a funeral procession for Abed Nasser Khalid Oubaido in the town of Kifar Nubal in Idlib. Several people were killed and several others were wounded by the gunfire of the Assad's brigades in the town of Hayalin in the countryside of Hama. Syrian air force intelligence brigades stormed the town of Harasta, deployed snipers on building rooftops, and set up roadblocks. On its social media Ugarit homepage, the Syrian opposition published a video showing the body of a child who was killed by Assad's brigades. The child was identified as Bilal al-Minashaf. The video shows a man standing next to the body claiming to be a photographer for Hezbollah's Manar satellite channel. The activities of the "Tuesday of freedom for Yaman al-Qaderi," a college student, continued throughout the night across various Syrian cities and towns. The protestors held massive nighttime demonstrations demanding the downfall of the regime, despite the dozens of people who were killed or injured by the gunfire of Assad's brigades during the day.
Thousands protest in Kuwait demanding the government to resign [New TV, Lebanon]
Presenter, Male #1
Kuwaitis rushed to Irada Square demanding that the government resign. Representative Faisal al-Muslim called for supporting the campaign called "Arrest Us All."
Reporter, Female #1
In Kuwait, thousands gathered in Irada Square for a demonstration called for by the opposition, demanding the resignation of the government and the dismissal of parliament after the country's emir refused to fire the head of government despite pressure from the street. Protestors gathered yesterday evening in the rain in front of parliament headquarters in the capital demanding that parliament question the prime minister over corruption cases.
Guest, Female #2
The position of the prime minister is a very sensitive one. He should be held accountable. This is what the government is trying to avoid.
Guest, Male #2
We are not against the regime, we are against the government. We have been living equally in Kuwait for over 400 years, we are not against the regime like the other Arab nations; we are not Libyans, or Egyptians, or Syrians. Our goal is to send a message to the government that we don't want corruption in Kuwait.
Reporter, Female #2
Representative Dr. Faisal al-Muslim called on the citizens to take part in the events of a campaign called "Do Not Criticize the Charter," which was organized in response to the government's violations of the constitution and deprivation of people's rights. In addition, al-Muslim called for supporting the campaign "Arrest Us All" in solidarity with the youth who stormed the National Assembly building. Meanwhile, Representative Sha'ab al-Muaizari called on Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah to meet the people's aspirations and submit his resignation.
Thousands participate in largest Saudi protest yet [Press TV, Iran]
In Saudi Arabia, thousands of people have taken to the streets in one of the largest protest rallies against the al-Saud regimes in the country. The protest took place after funeral services for two anti regime protestors. Ali Felfel and Nasser Mheishi were shot dead by Saudi security forces earlier this week in the eastern Saudi city of Qatif. Elsewhere, young protestors are pelting Saudi armored vehicles with stones in the town of Awamiya in the Eastern Province.
Iraqi defense ministry conducts military training [Press TV, Iran]
The Iraqi defense ministry has organized a military maneuver in Baghdad to show the readiness for the national army for the defense of Iraq. For the first time in the last eight years, the Iraqi defense ministry has held a two-day military maneuver in the capital Baghdad to show the Iraqi army's readiness for the withdrawal of the US troops from Iraq. The maneuver was carried out with the presence of the US and Iraqi top officers and commanders and the participation of more than 521 Iraqi soldiers from the artillery unit using 90 artillery caliber 107 and 12 missile launcher caliber 122 mm. The Iraqi deputy chief of staff stated that the Iraqi army has shown its readiness to defend the country.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi betrayed by desert guide [Dubai TV, UAE]
Presenter, Male #1
The final chapter in the escape of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was written by a Libyan nomad, known as the "the son of the desert." Desert guide Yusef Saleh al-Hotmani was behind the capture of Saif al-Islam. Al-Hotmani said that Saif hired him to guide him to the Niger border in exchange for one million Euros. However, al-Hotmani called the Zintan revolutionaries and informed them of the details of the operation on the night of November 18. The revolutionaries and members of the desert guide's al-Hotman tribe set up an ambush and captured Saif. The guide said he didn't trust Saif and knew that Saif wouldn't pay and would kill him after guiding him to the border with Niger. Meanwhile, International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said that Saif al-Islam could be tried in Libya if the Libyan judiciary is able to do so. However, Ocampo warned that there has to be a judicial process that shields the suspect from facing intentional justice. He further said that the former intelligence chief, Abdullah al Senussi, has not been arrested.
Guest, Male #2 (Luis Moreno-Ocampo, ICC Chief Prosecutor)
Saif was captured so we are here to seek cooperation. In May, we issued an arrest warrant because the Libyans were not in a position to achieve justice in Libya. Now the Libyans decided to achieve justice. If they can do it, we'll help them achieve it. The ICC mobilizes only when the national system cannot. This is why I'm here, to find out what the Libyans are planning to do and also to seek cooperation.