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 TV, Radio, and Multimedia awards, as well as a Clarion for her TV coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, Google Glass & Other Wearables, and the 9/11 Anniversary.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    What Your First Name Says About Who You Support for President

    Bobby, Betty and Curtis tend to support Donald Trump while people named Juan, Liz or Mohammad are more likely to lean toward Hillary Clinton

    South Pole Diary: In Round-the-clock Darkness, Radiant Moon Shines Like the Sun

    You hear more and see more when the moon first comes out; it’s your senses in overdrive, tuning into a new world.

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora