News / Middle East

Popular Protests Continue Against Many Arab Governments

Libyan anti-regime demonstrators at a burned police station in Tobruk, February 25, 2011
Libyan anti-regime demonstrators at a burned police station in Tobruk, February 25, 2011

Popular protests engulfed large swathes of the Arab world after Friday prayers, as anti-government movements appear to gain momentum.  Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators turned out across the Arab world after Friday prayers to express anger at their leaders.

Libya

In Benghazi, Libya, the center of an insurgent movement against veteran leader Moammar Gadhafi, protesters shouted that they want to overthrow his regime.

Benghazi and most of eastern Libya is now under control of the insurgents, in addition to growing sections of territory in western Libya, outside the capital Tripoli. Al-Arabiya TV reports that the coastal towns of Zawiya and Misrata, scenes of a ferocious battles between pro and anti-Gadhafi supporters Thursday, are now in the hands of the opposition.

In Tripoli, which remains under government control for the most part, the Friday prayer leader told worshipers that they should not challenge their rulers or create strife. Eyewitnesses reported that Gadhafi supporters fired on protesters in several parts of Tripoli, causing casualties.

Former Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Shalgham, an Gadhafi confidante, told Al-Arabiya TV that "talk of an outside military intervention in Libya makes it imperative to find a solution in the best interest of the nation."  It is time," he said, "for courageous decisions to be made." Mr. Gadhafi told Libyan TV Thursday that he has no "real power," but "just moral authority," like the Queen of England.

Despite the chaos and violence, a ferry boat succeeded in evacuating U.S. nationals from Tripoli to the nearby island of Malta. The deteriorating security situation has prompted thousands of Libyans and foreign nationals to flee the country in recent days. Bad weather and high seas have hampered several seaborne attempts to evacuate foreigners.

Egypt

Several hundred thousand demonstrators also turned out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square Friday, calling for the resignation of the government of Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. A similar demonstration took place last Friday, after worshipers held prayer services in the square.

Iraq

Popular Protests Continue Against Many Arab Governments
Popular Protests Continue Against Many Arab Governments
Major protests also took place in numerous Iraqi towns and cities, including Baghdad, the southern port city of Basra and the Sunni Muslim towns of Samara, Tikrit, Baquba and Ramadi. In the northern town of Mosul and its outskirts dozens of casualties were reported after protesters clashed with security forces.

The most dramatic clashes took place in Baghdad where thousands of protesters gathered at the city’s Tahrir Square for what was being called a "day of rage." Al-Jazeera TV reported that hundreds of protesters broke through police lines on two Baghdad bridges to join the rally.

Yemen

Tens of thousands of demonstrators also turned out in almost every province of Yemen Friday to demand the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The daily protests began on February 16 and have grown in strength, despite pledges of political reform by Mr. Saleh.  President Saleh has governed Yemen since 1978 and has promised not to seek re-election when his term ends in 2013.

 

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

You May Like

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail 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.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More