News / Middle East

    Analyst Says Some Officials Within Libyan Regime Are Turning Against It

    Saif al-Islam, son of longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, speaks out in defense of his father and his regime, February 21, 2011.
    Saif al-Islam, son of longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, speaks out in defense of his father and his regime, February 21, 2011.

    Multimedia

    Audio

    The London-based "Islamic Human Rights Commission", a private group which has set as its mission to defend the oppressed, says it condemns the treatment of the protesters in Libya by the Gadhafi regime. VOA’s Peter Clottey spoke to the IHRC’s Mohammed El-Sayed about what is happening in Libya, including his group's investigation of human right abuses and this week's pronouncement by Moammar Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam, that his father's government would fight to the "last man, woman and bullet" to stay in power. El-Sayed says there are indications the Gadhafi regime and its supporters are fractured.

    Listen to our interview with Mohammed El-Sayed:

    El-Sayed: We’ve got a part of the people quite high up in the regime itself actually turning against it and joining the protesters. We’ve got reports of the interior minister having joined the protesters. The ambassador at the Arab League has done the same thing. He has announced that his position is that of protesters.

    Mohammed El-Sayed
    Mohammed El-Sayed

    We’ve got the cases of ambassadors to separate countries doing the same thing. We had the case yesterday where the Libyan ambassador to India has actually announced his resignation on the BBC, live on television. We also have reports of large sectors of the military joining the protesters. We’ve got the case of the military in the second largest city, Benghazi, [where] they seemed to have actually joined the protesters and they have declared Benghazi to be a liberated city from the regime.

    So, in a sense we have got, I think, all of this developments pointing in one direction, where there seems to be consensus among the protesters and many sectors within the government itself. They are reaching the point where, I think, they’re just fed up with forty-two years of this dictatorial regime.

    Clottey: With the challenges that your organization faces, how are you about to investigate all of these human right abuses?

    El-Sayed: It’s quite difficult initially, because, as you can see, there is a bit of a media blackout, but there are resources which we can rely on, there are people on the ground with whom we can try to get in touch. Obviously, with the ongoing protest it makes it a bit difficult because there is always the potential for people to be arrested, for people to be sometimes even maybe tortured or killed.

    In the case of Libya right now, we’ve also got the issue - again it’s similar to what happened previously in Egypt and Tunisia - where they are actually… intentionally shutting down the Internet, shutting down communication services, so as to prevent [protesters] from being able to get the message out.

    As I said, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, in his address, one of the things he focused on and blamed the revolution on was “people abroad operating via the Internet and Facebook.” He actually named Facebook. So, I think, in a sense, it’s a bit of a sign of desperation on the part of the government to really blame the Internet and modern technology.

    I think that they are all living in kind of a medieval mentality where they can’t actually deal with these changes which are ongoing new, these technological advances which allow people to actually communicate and get their message out.

     

    NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.