News / Africa

Amateur Videos from Libya Show Frustration

Government restrictions on the media in the parts of Libya controlled by Moammar Gadhafi make it difficult to get uncensored news out of Tripoli. But a VOA correspondent has contacts in Libya and has received videos over the Internet that apparently show examples of government repression.  We want to to share these videos with you and dissect what it is they show.

This is just a sample of the amateur videos sent to a correspondent's email account at Voice of America.  The sender is a source  I trust, and have used before. This source says the video shows forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi abusing volunteer soldiers and rebel prisoners.

This interview comes from a different source. Both he and the woman are risking their lives in Green Square in Tripoli where Gadhafi supporters typically gather for demonstrations.  

"We are the people who are fighting for the Libyan people," she said.

Media experts say these videos are typical of what now comes out of conflict zones.  

Susan Moeller is director of the International Center for Media at the University of Maryland. She says together the videos are persuasive.

"Here we are seeing little snippets of individual pixilated people who are saying ‘I’m against Gadhafi, in favor of outside intervention,'" said Moeller. "But they want us to see them all and say, 'Oh, okay the full picture we get is there's a lot of people who see this and maybe we should think this too.'"

Some of the interviews are accompanied by accurate English translations.  This man is joking about Libya's government, while several people record him on their mobile phones.

"Our killed people will end up in paradise, but your killed people will go to hell," he said.

In another video, the same man is lying in a truck, purportedly captured by Gadhafi loyalists.

"You dare to insult Moammar, you dog.  You are a traitor," yells a male voice.

The Gadhafi government restricts journalists to one hotel in Tripoli.  They cannot leave without an official escort and are only allowed to cover events sanctioned by the government.   That's why these videos are so rare.  But their rarity also makes them suspect.

Christine Fair with Georgetown University says you - the viewer - need to decide if Internet videos are authentic.

"Once these videos go viral, they move very quickly and they are very powerful," said Fair. "This also means however that it's somewhat easy to fabricate somewhat dodgy [shaky] looking video from a phone."

"It's definitely not normal life," said a Libyan woman.

This woman from Tripoli is being interviewed in front of what the shooter says is the naval barrack on the outskirts of the capital.

"It's safe, it's just frustrating not being able to say what we want to," she said. "I never really thought I'd be happy to have my country bombed by anybody.  You find yourself saying a new prayer for the pilots' safety."  

Most of these opposition fighters agree on the fate of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, including this man from Tripoli.

"He will not stay.  Impossible.  If he stays it means that we will die.  All of Libya will die," he said.

Government soldiers disagree:

"Lift your head, you dog.  Long live Moammar," says a man's voice.

The senders of these videos say many Libyan cities have an acute communication crisis.  They have occasional Internet access and can only speak through satellite phones.  Or, through smuggled images like these.  


Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid