2011-02-28 Live blog for #Libya #Feb17 from February 15 – 28

Submitted by Heather Marsh on Sat, 03/05/2011 – 06:02

ImageWL Central will be updating news on Libya, with new items added at the top. You can contact me on twitter @GeorgieBC or by email atadmin@wlcentral.org.

Current time and date in Tripoli: 

MONDAY, February 28

11:00 PM The US Treasury has said that US$30 billion in Libyan assets have been blocked and US naval ships and planes are being moved closer to Libya, “planning and preparing” for missions, “whether humanitarian or otherwise”. Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, would not discuss military options but said that the US would consider a range of responses against Gaddafi if he continued to attack his own people. David Cameron said the UK did not rule out the use of force against Muammar Gaddafi and he has asked colleagues to work on plans for a no-fly zone and would consider arming the Libyan opposition.

France is sending two planes with humanitarian aid, including medicine and doctors, to Benghazi – the first direct western aid to the uprising.

9:00 PM Muammar Gaddafi tells BBC that no one is protesting against him, no one is against him, all the Libyan people love him and would die for him. He says the people protesting are Al Qaeda.

8:20 PM Al Arabiya reports an interview with a Revolutionary Guards Corps colonel who said Iran has “several military bases” in Libya, mostly along Libya’s borders with the African countries of Chad and Niger. He said that Iran and Libya have been collaborating on these bases since 2006, and “with the current unrest in Libya, over 500 Guards have been unable to evacuate and are under orders to destroy all documents”.

Saif al Islam Gaddafi holding a machine gun and shouting slogans to supporters. Yesterday said in interviews that everything was calm, the Gaddafis were “in high spirits” and “laughing” at reports of unrest.

Carne Ross, a former British diplomat who resigned in 2004 after giving then-secret evidence to a British inquiry into the Iraq war, wrote on his blog about the UN recommendation to the ICC.

Paragraphs 22-23 invite states to nominate regime members (inc military, police etc) who are responsible for human rights abuses and attacks on civilians. These individuals will be added to the list of those subject – immediately – to the assets freeze and travel ban: the sanctions imposed in other paras of the resolution. I don’t claim that this will bring about the immediate end of the Gadhaffi regime, but it’s something, and may have some deterrent effect.

The invitation to states to nominate these criminals is all very well, but with no diplomats in situ I don’t see how outside states can know who these people might be. Instead, how about providing a channel for Libyans on the ground observing the crimes of the regime to nominate people? Perhaps Human Rights Watch, Amnesty and others could think about this. Why don’t they invite nominations? Why don’t some right-thinking states including those who drafted and pushed this resolution do so too? I’m thinking perhaps of an email address where Libyans can nominate people for sanctions, or as others like Richard Robbins have suggested more imaginatively, what about a wiki which people on the ground could contribute evidence of crimes and abuses? Wouldn’t it be great if the UN itself – and quickly -were to set up such a site? But it needs to happen fast!

The Telegraph reports that when the UN Security Council called Saturday night for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the killings of demonstrators, the US insisted that the UN resolution was worded so that no one from an outside country that is not a member of the ICC could be prosecuted for their actions in Libya. Algeria, Ethiopia and Tunisia were all pointed out by the Telegraph as being states which were ported to have mercenaries in Libya, but were not members of the ICC.

The move was seen as an attempt to prevent a precedent that could see Americans prosecuted by the ICC for alleged crimes in other conflicts. While the US was once among the signatories to the court, George W. Bush withdrew from it in 2002 and declared that it did not have power over Washington.

The demonstrations in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan have both involved unidentified, possibly US, security forces shooting protesters.

More from Al Jazeera on the provisional Libyan government with the temporary capital to be in Benghazi until Tripoli is liberated. The interim president is Abud Ajleil, and the government will undertake the development of a new constitution, flag and anthem once all of Libya has been liberated. Former Libyan justice minister Mustafa Mohamed Abdel Jalil told Al Jazeera the provisional government “will lead for no more than three months – and then there will be fair elections and the people will choose their leader.” About the provisional president, he said, “He is a very honest man. He was in charge of the justice issue in the eastern part of Libya when the regime asked him to hang an innocent Libyan citizen and he refused. I am sure he will gain support of all Libyans and of the international community.” He repeated many times that the capital will be in Tripoli.

Al Jazeera reports 2000 Gaddafi troops have surrounded the city of Zawiyah where the protesters say more than 2000 police had defected and were now with the protesters. The protesters also say they have seized weapons and even tanks to defend themselves.

2011-02-28 #Qatar protest postponed, now rumours of attempted coup and more #Mar16

ImageAs

As reported previously on WL Central, a facebook group appeared calling for a protest “against corruption” in Qatar. “Support the revolution, Qatar February 27 against corruption.”

As we reported then, Neither the posted info nor the comments have issued more specific demands, than to “topple this corrupt regime” but 500 people have liked the page which has been up since around February 8. The current Emir of Qatar, Hamad Bin Khalifa took control from his father in 1995. He has been criticized in the Arab world for meeting with Israeli minister Tzipi Livni, and for supporting the Al Jazeera news network which is critical of other Arab governments and frequently airs western and Israeli views.

Now a new Facebook page is calling for protests on March 16, and twitter is divided between retweets of

“It was written by non qatari people. It was 27feb and no body react to it and then they moved it to new date.”

and

“Facebook Page of #16March Revolt in Qatar Was Blocked inside #Qatar”

The new Facebook page has 35,266 followers, so some momentum is being built somewhere, whether within or without the country. PressTV and Middle East Online have both reported the page today, so probably extra media attention has helped.

Meanwhile, Ennahar Online has announced a failed coup d’état against the Emir by “thirty senior Qatari army”, and they assert that some are now under house arrest. They also report a declaration, signed by 66 political opponents as well as Qatari personalities and ruling families, including 16 figures from the ruling family, in which they announced the non-recognition of the legitimacy of the Emir Hamed Ben Khalifa, and sought to replace him by his brother Abdelaziz Ben Khalifa ben Hamed in France. The statement, which Ennahar provides no source for, they say contains serious accusations against the current Emir of Qatar, among others, relations with Israel and the United States of America. He is accused of working for the United States and creating discord among Arab countries in addition to his involvement with the family of his wife in corruption and social injustice against thousands of Qatari citizens. The signatories of the statement have mentioned the wife of the Emir, known as “Sheikha Mouza Bint Nacer El Mesned “, whose appearances in various media, clothed contrary to the customs of Qatar which they considered “indecent”. His children, they add, have monopolized power and property of Qatari through use of power.

Ennahar ties this report of an attempted coup d’état and an important declaration to the Facebook group, saying the signatories to the declaration, who they do not name, ask people to use Facebook to call for the end of the regime.

2011-02-27 Live blog for #Libya #Feb17 from February 15 – 28

SUNDAY, February 27

A good description of Benghazi’s interim government headquarters from Al Jazeera includes more information on the underground prisoners of Benghazi. First reported as 2-300, the number swelled within hours to 1500 and stayed there, but according to Al Jazeera’s interview “false reports spread that protesters in Benghazi had found hundreds of political prisoners held underground for decades (in fact, a dozen or so were released, and their internment was several times smaller than had been reported, Sanalla said.)”

From Al JazeeraThe UN Security Council has unanimously imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, members of his family and inner circle.

A lawyer and member of a local committee told AFP “The towns of Rhibat, Kabaw, Jado, Rogban, Zentan, Yefren, Kekla, Gherien and Hawamed have also been free for days. In all these towns, Gaddafi’s forces have gone and a revolutionary committee put in place. We have placed ourselves under the authority of the interim government in Benghazi.” The reporter also found that in Nalut, 24km west of Tripoli, Gaddafi’s security forces had entirely disappeared from the streets.

UN Resolution (The full text)

26 February 2011

Security Council
SC/10187
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6491st Meeting* (PM)

In Swift, Decisive Action, Security Council Imposes Tough Measures on Libyan Regime, Adopting Resolution 1970 in Wake of Crackdown on Protesters

Situation Referred to International Criminal Court;

Secretary-General Expresses Hope Message ‘Heard and Heeded’ in Libya

Deploring what it called “the gross and systematic violation of human rights” in strife-torn Libya, the Security Council this evening demanded an end to the violence and decided to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court while imposing an arms embargo on the country and a travel ban and assets freeze on the family of Muammar Al-Qadhafi and certain Government officials.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1970 (2011) under Article 41 of the Charter’s Chapter VII, the Council authorized all Member States to seize and dispose of military-related materiel banned by the text and adopt “all measures necessary” to secure the prompt and safe delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need.

Through the text, the Council also decided to establish a new committee to monitor sanctions, to liaison with Member States on compliance and to respond to violations and to designate the individuals subject to the targeted measures. Individuals and entities immediately subjected to the targeted sanctions were listed in an Annex to the resolution.

Regarding its referral of the situation in Libya since 15 February 2011 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the Council recognized that States not party to the Rome Statute that established the Court had no obligations to it, but urged all States and concerned organizations to cooperate fully with the Court’s Prosecutor.

The Council affirmed it would keep the actions of the Libyan authorities under continuous review and would be prepared to strengthen, modify, suspend or lift the prescribed measures in light of compliance or non-compliance with the resolution.

Following the adoption of the text, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the Council’s “decisive” action. “While it cannot, by itself, end the violence and the repression, it is a vital step — a clear expression of the will of a united community of nations,” he said.

He expressed hope that the message that “gross violations of basic human rights will not be tolerated and that those responsible for grave crimes will be held accountable” would be “heard and heeded” by the Libyan regime and that it would bring hope and relief to those still at risk. He looked for similar action from the General Assembly and the international community as a whole, and warned that even bolder steps might be necessary.

In their explanations of vote, Council members welcomed the unanimity of the action and expressed solidarity with the people of Libya, hoping that their “swift and decisive” intervention would help bring them relief. Many expressed hope that the resolution was a strong step in affirming the responsibility of States to protect their people as well as the legitimate role of the Council to step in when they failed to meet that responsibility.

With the referral of the situation to the International Criminal Court, France’s representative hoped the vote would open a new era in commitment to the protection of populations. Further to that goal, Brazil’s representative expressed strong reservations to the provision in the resolution allowing for exemptions from jurisdiction of nationals from non-States parties, saying those were not helpful to advance the cause of justice and accountability.

Noting that five Council members were not parties to the Rome Statute that set up the International Criminal Court, including India, that country’s representative said he would have preferred a “calibrated approach” to the issue. However, he was convinced that the referral would help to bring about the end of violence and he heeded the call of the Secretary-General on the issue, while stressing the importance of the provisions in the resolution regarding non-States parties to the Statute.

Some speakers, such as the representatives of Lebanon and the Russian Federation, stressed the importance of affirming the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya. The Chinese representative said he had supported the resolution taking into account the special circumstances in Libya.

Speaking last, Libya’s representative said that the Council’s action represented moral support for his people and was a signal that an end must be put to the fascist regime in Tripoli. He launched an appeal to all the officers of the Libyan armed forces to support their own people, and welcomed the referral to the International Criminal Court, as well as the decision not to impose sanctions on those who might abandon Mr. Al-Qadhafi in the end.

Also speaking this evening were the representatives of the United Kingdom, South Africa, Nigeria, United States, Colombia, Portugal, Germany, and Bosnia and Herzegovina and Gabon.

The meeting was opened at 8:10 p.m. and closed at 8:55 p.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 1970 (2011) reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Expressing grave concern at the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and condemning the violence and use of force against civilians,

“Deploring the gross and systematic violation of human rights, including the repression of peaceful demonstrators, expressing deep concern at the deaths of civilians, and rejecting unequivocally the incitement to hostility and violence against the civilian population made from the highest level of the Libyan government,

“Welcoming the condemnation by the Arab League, the African Union, and the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference of the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that are being committed in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

“Taking note of the letter to the President of the Security Council from the Permanent Representative of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya dated 26 February 2011,

“Welcoming the Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/S-15/2 of 25 February 2011, including the decision to urgently dispatch an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, to establish the facts and circumstances of such violations and of the crimes perpetrated, and where possible identify those responsible,

“Considering that the widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity,

“Expressing concern at the plight of refugees forced to flee the violence in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

“Expressing concern also at the reports of shortages of medical supplies to treat the wounded,

“Recalling the Libyan authorities’ responsibility to protect its population,

“Underlining the need to respect the freedoms of peaceful assembly and of expression, including freedom of the media,

“Stressing the need to hold to account those responsible for attacks, including by forces under their control, on civilians,

“Recalling article 16 of the Rome Statute under which no investigation or prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with by the International Criminal Court for a period of 12 months after a Security Council request to that effect,

“Expressing concern for the safety of foreign nationals and their rights in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

“Mindful of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security under the Charter of the United Nations,

“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, and taking measures under its Article 41,

“1. Demands an immediate end to the violence and calls for steps to fulfil the legitimate demands of the population;

“2. Urges the Libyan authorities to:

(a) Act with the utmost restraint, respect human rights and international humanitarian law, and allow immediate access for international human rights monitors;

(b) Ensure the safety of all foreign nationals and their assets and facilitate the departure of those wishing to leave the country;

(c) Ensure the safe passage of humanitarian and medical supplies, and humanitarian agencies and workers, into the country; and

(d) Immediately lift restrictions on all forms of media;

“3. Requests all Member States, to the extent possible, to cooperate in the evacuation of those foreign nationals wishing to leave the country;

ICC referral

“4. Decides to refer the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya since 15 February 2011 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court;

“5. Decides that the Libyan authorities shall cooperate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the Court and the Prosecutor pursuant to this resolution and, while recognizing that States not party to the Rome Statute have no obligation under the Statute, urges all States and concerned regional and other international organizations to cooperate fully with the Court and the Prosecutor;

“6. Decides that nationals, current or former officials or personnel from a State outside the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for all alleged acts or omissions arising out of or related to operations in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya established or authorized by the Council, unless such exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State;

“7. Invites the Prosecutor to address the Security Council within two months of the adoption of this resolution and every six months thereafter on actions taken pursuant to this resolution;

“8. Recognizes that none of the expenses incurred in connection with the referral, including expenses related to investigations or prosecutions in connection with that referral, shall be borne by the United Nations and that such costs shall be borne by the parties to the Rome Statute and those States that wish to contribute voluntarily;

Arms embargo

“9. Decides that all Member States shall immediately take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, from or through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and technical assistance, training, financial or other assistance, related to military activities or the provision, maintenance or use of any arms and related materiel, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel whether or not originating in their territories, and decides further that this measure shall not apply to:

(a) Supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, and related technical assistance or training, as approved in advance by the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 below;

(b) Protective clothing, including flak jackets and military helmets, temporarily exported to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya by United Nations personnel, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development works and associated personnel, for their personal use only; or

(c) Other sales or supply of arms and related materiel, or provision of assistance or personnel, as approved in advance by the Committee;

“10. Decides that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya shall cease the export of all arms and related materiel and that all Member States shall prohibit the procurement of such items from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya by their nationals, or using their flagged vessels or aircraft, and whether or not originating in the territory of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;

“11. Calls upon all States, in particular States neighbouring the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, to inspect, in accordance with their national authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, in particular the law of the sea and relevant international civil aviation agreements, all cargo to and from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, in their territory, including seaports and airports, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe the cargo contains items the supply, sale, transfer, or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 or 10 of this resolution for the purpose of ensuring strict implementation of those provisions;

“12. Decides to authorize all Member States to, and that all Member States shall, upon discovery of items prohibited by paragraph 9 or 10 of this resolution, seize and dispose (such as through destruction, rendering inoperable, storage or transferring to a State other than the originating or destination States for disposal) items the supply, sale, transfer or export of which is prohibited by paragraph 9 or 10 of this resolution and decides further that all Member States shall cooperate in such efforts;

“13. Requires any Member State when it undertakes an inspection pursuant to paragraph 11 above, to submit promptly an initial written report to the Committee containing, in particular, explanation of the grounds for the inspections, the results of such inspections, and whether or not cooperation was provided, and, if prohibited items for transfer are found, further requires such Member States to submit to the Committee, at a later stage, a subsequent written report containing relevant details on the inspection, seizure, and disposal, and relevant details of the transfer, including a description of the items, their origin and intended destination, if this information is not in the initial report;

“14. Encourages Member States to take steps to strongly discourage their nationals from travelling to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to participate in activities on behalf of the Libyan authorities that could reasonably contribute to the violation of human rights;

Travel ban

“15. Decides that all Member States shall take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of individuals listed in Annex I of this resolution or designated by the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 below, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall oblige a State to refuse its own nationals entry into its territory;

“16. Decides that the measures imposed by paragraph 15 above shall not apply:

(a) Where the Committee determines on a case-by-case basis that such travel is justified on the grounds of humanitarian need, including religious obligation;

(b) Where entry or transit is necessary for the fulfilment of a judicial process;

(c) Where the Committee determines on a case-by-case basis that an exemption would further the objectives of peace and national reconciliation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and stability in the region; or

(d) Where a State determines on a case-by-case basis that such entry or transit is required to advance peace and stability in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the States subsequently notifies the Committee within forty-eight hours after making such a determination;

Asset freeze

“17. Decides that all Member States shall freeze without delay all funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories, which are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the individuals or entities listed in Annex II of this resolution or designated by the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 below, or by individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or by entities owned or controlled by them, and decides further that all Member States shall ensure that any funds, financial assets or economic resources are prevented from being made available by their nationals or by any individuals or entities within their territories, to or for the benefit of the individuals or entities listed in Annex II of this resolution or individuals designated by the Committee;

“18. Expresses its intention to ensure that assets frozen pursuant to paragraph 17 shall at a later stage be made available to and for the benefit of the people of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;

“19. Decides that the measures imposed by paragraph 17 above do not apply to funds, other financial assets or economic resources that have been determined by relevant Member States:

(a) To be necessary for basic expenses, including payment for foodstuffs, rent or mortgage, medicines and medical treatment, taxes, insurance premiums, and public utility charges or exclusively for payment of reasonable professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses associated with the provision of legal services in accordance with national laws, or fees or service charges, in accordance with national laws, for routine holding or maintenance of frozen funds, other financial assets and economic resources, after notification by the relevant State to the Committee of the intention to authorize, where appropriate, access to such funds, other financial assets or economic resources and in the absence of a negative decision by the Committee within five working days of such notification;

(b) To be necessary for extraordinary expenses, provided that such determination has been notified by the relevant State or Member States to the Committee and has been approved by the Committee; or

(c) To be the subject of a judicial, administrative or arbitral lien or judgment, in which case the funds, other financial assets and economic resources may be used to satisfy that lien or judgment provided that the lien or judgment was entered into prior to the date of the present resolution, is not for the benefit of a person or entity designated pursuant to paragraph 17 above, and has been notified by the relevant State or Member States to the Committee;

“20. Decides that Member States may permit the addition to the accounts frozen pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 17 above of interests or other earnings due on those accounts or payments due under contracts, agreements or obligations that arose prior to the date on which those accounts became subject to the provisions of this resolution, provided that any such interest, other earnings and payments continue to be subject to these provisions and are frozen;

“21. Decides that the measures in paragraph 17 above shall not prevent a designated person or entity from making payment due under a contract entered into prior to the listing of such a person or entity, provided that the relevant States have determined that the payment is not directly or indirectly received by a person or entity designated pursuant to paragraph 17 above, and after notification by the relevant States to the Committee of the intention to make or receive such payments or to authorize, where appropriate, the unfreezing of funds, other financial assets or economic resources for this purpose, 10 working days prior to such authorization;

Designation criteria

“22. Decides that the measures contained in paragraphs 15 and 17 shall apply to the individuals and entities designated by the Committee, pursuant to paragraph 24 (b) and (c), respectively;

(a) Involved in or complicit in ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, the commission of serious human rights abuses against persons in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including by being involved in or complicit in planning, commanding, ordering or conducting attacks, in violation of international law, including aerial bombardments, on civilian populations and facilities; or

(b) Acting for or on behalf of or at the direction of individuals or entities identified in subparagraph (a).

“23. Strongly encourages Member States to submit to the Committee names of individuals who meet the criteria set out in paragraph 22 above;

New Sanctions Committee

“24. Decides to establish, in accordance with rule 28 of its provisional rules of procedure, a Committee of the Security Council consisting of all the members of the Council (herein “the Committee”), to undertake to following tasks:

(a) To monitor implementation of the measures imposed in paragraphs 9, 10, 15, and 17;

(b) To designate those individuals subject to the measures imposed by paragraphs 15 and to consider requests for exemptions in accordance with paragraph 16 above;

(c) To designate those individuals subject to the measures imposed by paragraph 17 above and to consider requests for exemptions in accordance with paragraphs 19 and 20 above;

(d) To establish such guidelines as may be necessary to facilitate the implementation of the measures imposed above;

(e) To report within thirty days to the Security Council on its work for the first report and thereafter to report as deemed necessary by the Committee;

(f) To encourage a dialogue between the Committee and interested Member States, in particular those in the region, including by inviting representatives of such States to meet with the Committee to discuss implementation of the measures;

(g) To seek from all States whatever information it may consider useful regarding the actions taken by them to implement effectively the measures imposed above;

(h) To examine and take appropriate action on information regarding alleged violations or non-compliance with the measures contained in this resolution;

“25. Calls upon all Member States to report to the Committee within 120 days of the adoption of this resolution on the steps they have taken with a view to implementing effectively paragraphs 9, 10, 15 and 17 above;

Humanitarian assistance

“26. Calls upon all Member States, working together and acting in cooperation with the Secretary General, to facilitate and support the return of humanitarian agencies and make available humanitarian and related assistance in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and requests the States concerned to keep the Security Council regularly informed on the progress of actions undertaken pursuant to this paragraph, and expresses its readiness to consider taking additional appropriate measures, as necessary, to achieve this;

Commitment to review

“27. Affirms that it shall keep the Libyan authorities’ actions under continuous review and that it shall be prepared to review the appropriateness of the measures contained in this resolution, including the strengthening, modification, suspension or lifting of the measures, as may be needed at any time in light of the Libyan authorities’ compliance with relevant provisions of this resolution;

“28. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

Annex I

Travel ban

1. Al-Baghdadi, Dr Abdulqader Mohammed

Passport number: B010574. Date of birth: 01/07/1950.

Head of the Liaison Office of the Revolutionary Committees. Revolutionary Committees involved in violence against demonstrators.

2. Dibri, Abdulqader Yusef

Date of birth: 1946. Place of birth: Houn, Libya.

Head of Muammar Qadhafi’s personal security. Responsibility for regime security. History of directing violence against dissidents.

3. Dorda, Abu Zayd Umar

Director, External Security Organisation. Regime loyalist. Head of external intelligence agency.

4. Jabir, Major General Abu Bakr Yunis

Date of birth: 1952. Place of birth: Jalo, Libya.

Defence Minister. Overall responsibility for actions of armed forces.

5. Matuq, Matuq Mohammed

Date of birth: 1956. Place of birth: Khoms.

Secretary for Utilities. Senior member of regime. Involvement with Revolutionary Committees. Past history of involvement in suppression of dissent and violence.

6. Qadhaf Al-dam, Sayyid Mohammed

Date of birth: 1948. Place of birth: Sirte, Libya.

Cousin of Muammar Qadhafi. In the 1980s, Sayyid was involved in the dissident assassination campaign and allegedly responsible for several deaths in Europe. He is also thought to have been involved in arms procurement.

7. Qadhafi, Aisha Muammar

Date of birth: 1978. Place of birth: Tripoli, Libya.

Daughter of Muammar Qadhafi. Closeness of association with regime.

8. Qadhafi, Hannibal Muammar

Passport number: B/002210. Date of birth: 20/09/1975. Place of birth: Tripoli, Libya. Son of Muammar Qadhafi. Closeness of association with regime.

9. Qadhafi, Khamis Muammar

Date of birth: 1978. Place of birth: Tripoli, Libya.

Son of Muammar Qadhafi. Closeness of association with regime. Command of military units involved in repression of demonstrations.

10. Qadhafi, Mohammed Muammar

Date of birth: 1970. Place of birth: Tripoli, Libya.

Son of Muammar Qadhafi. Closeness of association with regime.

11. Qadhafi, Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar

Date of birth: 1942. Place of birth: Sirte, Libya.

Leader of the Revolution, Supreme Commander of Armed Forces. Responsibility for ordering repression of demonstrations, human rights abuses.

12. Qadhafi, Mutassim

Date of birth: 1976. Place of birth: Tripoli, Libya.

National Security Adviser. Son of Muammar Qadhafi. Closeness of association with regime.

13. Qadhafi, Saadi

Passport number: 014797. Date of birth: 25/05/1973. Place of birth: Tripoli, Libya.

Commander Special Forces. Son of Muammar Qadhafi. Closeness of association with regime. Command of military units involved in repression of demonstrations.

14. Qadhafi, Saif al-Arab

Date of birth: 1982. Place of birth: Tripoli, Libya.

Son of Muammar Qadhafi. Closeness of association with regime.

15. Qadhafi, Saif al-Islam

Passport number: B014995. Date of birth: 25/06/1972. Place of birth: Tripoli, Libya.

Director, Qadhafi Foundation. Son of Muammar Qadhafi. Closeness of association with regime. Inflammatory public statements encouraging violence against demonstrators.

16. Al-Senussi, Colonel Abdullah

Date of birth: 1949. Place of birth: Sudan.

Director Military Intelligence. Military Intelligence involvement in suppression of demonstrations. Past history includes suspicion of involvement in Abu Selim prison massacre. Convicted in absentia for bombing of UTA flight. Brother-in-law of Muammar Qadhafi.

Annex II

Asset freeze

1. Qadhafi, Aisha Muammar

Date of birth: 1978. Place of birth: Tripoli, Libya.

Daughter of Muammar Qadhafi. Closeness of association with regime.

2. Qadhafi, Hannibal Muammar

Passport number: B/002210. Date of birth: 20/09/1975. Place of birth: Tripoli, Libya. Son of Muammar Qadhafi. Closeness of association with regime.

3. Qadhafi, Khamis Muammar

Date of birth: 1978. Place of birth: Tripoli, Libya.

Son of Muammar Qadhafi. Closeness of association with regime. Command of military units involved in repression of demonstrations.

4. Qadhafi, Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar

Date of birth: 1942. Place of birth: Sirte, Libya.

Leader of the Revolution, Supreme Commander of Armed Forces. Responsibility for ordering repression of demonstrations, human rights abuses.

5. Qadhafi, Mutassim

Date of birth: 1976. Place of birth: Tripoli, Libya.

National Security Adviser. Son of Muammar Qadhafi. Closeness of association with regime.

6. Qadhafi, Saif al-Islam

Passport number: B014995. Date of birth: 25/06/1972. Place of birth: Tripoli, Libya.

Director, Qadhafi Foundation. Son of Muammar Qadhafi. Closeness of association with regime. Inflammatory public statements encouraging violence against demonstrators.

Statements

MARK LYALL GRANT (United Kingdom) welcomed the adoption, noting that his country was gravely concerned over the violence and had condemned the actions of the Libyan leadership. The text, he said, was a powerful signal of the determination of the international community to stand with the Libyan people as they charted their future.

HARDEEP SINGH PURI ( India) hoped that calm and stability were restored without further violence and called for measures to ensure the safety of the Indian population in Libya, as well as those attempting to leave. Noting that five Council members were not parties to the Rome Statute, including India, he said he would have preferred a “calibrated approach” to the issue. However, he was convinced that the referral of the situation to the International Criminal Court would help to bring about the end of violence, and he heeded the call of the Secretary-General on the issue. He, therefore, had voted in favour of the resolution, while stressing the importance of its provisions regarding non-States parties to the Rome Statute.

BASO SANGQU (South Africa) said his country was deeply concerned about the situation in Libya. The resolution adopted by the Security Council sent a clear and unambiguous message to Libya to stop the indiscriminate use of force in that country, and the measures it contained could contribute to the long-term objective of bringing peace and stability to the nation.

U. JOY OGWU (Nigeria) said that she was deeply concerned about the inflammatory rhetoric and loss of life occurring in Libya. As many had been calling for swift action, it was fitting that the Council had taken decisive action today. Nigeria supported the resolution and its “comprehensive” targeted sanctions. It was convinced that the text would deter individuals from supporting the regime and would provide for the protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian and human rights law. The delegation believed that the resolution would swiftly address the ongoing violence.

SUSAN RICE ( United States) welcomed the fact that the Council had spoken with one voice this evening, in a clear warning to the Libyan Government that it must stop the killing. Calling the text a strong resolution, she said that this was about people’s ability to shape their own future. Their rights were not negotiable and could not be denied.

NAWAF SALAM (Lebanon), noting the denunciation by the League of Arab States of the crimes committed against Libyan civilians, said he concurred with its opinion, as well as its support for the right of Libyan citizens to express their opinion. That was why he had voted in favour of the resolution. He stressed the importance of reaffirming the territorial unity of Libya and expressed deep sorrow over the lives lost.

VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said he supported the resolution because of his country’s deep concern over the situation, its sorrow over the lives lost and its condemnation of the Libyan Government’s actions. He opposed counterproductive interventions, but he said that the purpose of the resolution was to end the violence and to preserve the united sovereign State of Libya with its territorial integrity. Security for foreign citizens, including Russian citizens, must be ensured.

LI BAODONG ( China) said that China was very much concerned about the situation in Libya. The greatest urgency was to cease the violence, to end the bloodshed and civilian casualties, and to resolve the crisis through peaceful means, such as dialogue. The safety and interest of the foreign nationals in Libya must be assured. Taking into account the special circumstances in Libya, the Chinese delegation had voted in favour of the resolution.

NÉSTOR OSORIO (Colombia) said the Colombian Government was pleased with the resolution, which had emerged as a result of a “timely process of consultation”, in tune with the sense of urgency demanded by the international community. The resolution sent the “direct and solid message” that the violence in Libya must cease and that those responsible for it must answer for their crimes. Moreover, the decision to refer the situation to the International Criminal Court was an appropriate one. Colombia clearly rejected the calls for violence from official sectors in Libya, and condemned the violation of basic rights and freedoms of that country’s citizens, including the right to life and to peaceful assembly. Colombia had co-sponsored yesterday’s Human Rights Council resolution on the situation. Libya must find a way to respond legitimately to its people’s demands, and the international community must remain united to bring an end to the violence there.

JOSÉ FILIPE MORAES CABRAL (Portugal) welcomed the unanimous adoption of the resolution, which he said sent a clear, united message against the crimes being committed against civilians in Libya. He expressed deep concern over the plight of refugees and other humanitarian issues, including the safety of foreigners. Impunity would not be tolerated and serious crimes would be prosecuted.

GÉRARD ARAUD (France) welcomed the fact that the Council had unanimously answered yesterday’s appeal by the Libyan representative. The referral of the matter to the International Criminal Court might ensure that those responsible for the crimes were brought to justice. The Court had once again showed the rationale for its existence. The resolution recalled the accountability of each State for the protection of its population and the role of the international community when that responsibility was not met. He hoped the vote would open a new era for the international community as a whole.

PETER WITTIG ( Germany) welcomed what he called the Council’s swift, decisive, united and strong message that the violation of the rights of the Libyan people would not be tolerated. The referral to the International Criminal Court demonstrated the determination not to allow impunity. It should be clear to all that the Council would continue to follow the situation closely.

IVAN BARBALIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that in the current situation time was of the essence, and that the Security Council had to react “unanimously and urgently” to end the violence and prevent further escalation of the situation in Libya. His delegation had closely followed the popular movement in Libya, and was appalled at the “unacceptable level of violence” targeted at civilians there. Bosnia and Herzegovina condemned in the strongest possible terms the violence and loss of life, and therefore fully supported the decision to refer those responsible to the International Criminal Court. He called for an immediate stop to the violence. Worried about the outflow of refugees and the high number of internally displaced persons there, he called on international organizations to provide humanitarian aid and services to those affected by the violence.

ALFRED ALEXIS MOUNGARA MOUSSOTSI (Gabon) said that the situation existing in Libya over the last two weeks required an answer and a “strong, clear message” from the Security Council. Gabon had decided to add its voice to the resolution, not only to end the violence, but also to advise the Libyan regime of the consequences of its actions. Gabon was also ready to support other measures that the Council might adopt in support of the Libyan people and their right to life and free speech.

MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI ( Brazil) said that her delegation was deeply disturbed by the dramatic situation in Libya. The measures adopted today were meant to halt the violence, ensure the protection of civilians and promote respect for international law. The resolution was a “clear signal” of the Council’s readiness to respond to the situation in a manner consistent with its responsibilities. Brazil was a long-standing supporter of the integrity and universalization of the Rome Statute, and opposed the exemption from jurisdiction of nationals of those countries not parties to it. Brazil, therefore, expressed its strong reservation to the resolution’s operative paragraph 6, and reiterated its firm conviction that initiatives aimed at establishing those exemptions were not helpful to advance the cause of justice and accountability.

IBRAHIM DABBASHI ( Libya) expressed his condolences to the martyrs who had fallen under the repression of the Libyan regime, and thanked Council Members for their unanimous action, which represented moral support for his people, who were resisting the attacks. The resolution would be a signal that an end must be put to the fascist regime in Tripoli.

He launched an appeal to all the officers of the Libyan armed forces to support their own people and renounce their support for Muammar Al-Qadhafi, whom he called “criminal” and whom he said was prepared to go to extremes to keep up the repression. He appealed also to the Libyan people to keep up their struggle to restore the State to the people. He welcomed, in addition, the referral of the situation to the International Criminal Court and the fact that sanctions were not being imposed on those who might abandon Mr. Al-Qadhafi in the end.

BAN KI-MOON, United Nations Secretary-General, welcomed the resolution. “While it cannot, by itself, end the violence and the repression, it is a vital step — a clear expression of the will of a united community of nations,” he said. Calling the events in Libya “clear-cut violations of all norms governing international behaviour and serious transgressions of international human rights and humanitarian law”, he said it was of great importance that the Council was determined to reach consensus and uphold its responsibilities.

He hoped that the strong message that “gross violations of basic human rights will not be tolerated and that those responsible for grave crimes will be held accountable” would be heeded by the regime in Libya and that it would bring hope and relief to those still at risk. The sanctions were a necessary step to speed the transition to a new system of governance that had the people’s consent and participation.

He pledged to monitor the situation closely and remain in touch with world and regional leaders to support swift and concrete action. Expressing solidarity with the Libyan people in coping with the humanitarian impacts, he hoped that the new future for which they yearned would soon be theirs. Commending the Council for its decisive action, he looked for similar determination from the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council.

“Today’s measures are tough. In the coming days even bolder action may be necessary,” he said.

2011-02-26 Live blog for #Libya #Feb17 from February 15 – 28

SATURDAY, February 26

11:30 PM Saif Gaddafi’s London School of Economics examiner, economist Lord Desai,responded to acusations of plagiarism by Saif, saying that Saif earned the PhD, and “I read the thesis, I examined him along with an examiner, he defended his thesis very, very thoroughly, he had nobody else present there, and I don’t think there’s any reason to think he didn’t do it himself. This is over-egging the pudding. The man is evil enough – you don’t have to add that he’s a plagiarist as well.” The 1.5 million pounds he subsequently donated to the university had nothing to do with it.

7:30 Al Arabiya reports that the Tajoura district is now clear of security forces. “The residents said troops opened fire on demonstrators who tried to march from Tajoura to central Green Square overnight, killing at least five people. … Gaddafi’s strongest European ally, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said at a political rally in Rome on Saturday that Gaddafi appears to be no longer in control of the situation in his country. …”It seems that effectively Gaddafi no longer controls the situation in Libya… If we can all come to an agreement, we can end this bloodbath and support the Libyan people,” Berlusconi said.

“Peace is coming back to our country,” Saif al-Islam Gaddafi told reporters flown into Libya under close government supervision. “If you hear fireworks don’t mistake it for shooting. Hopefully there will be no more bloodshed. By tomorrow we will solve this.”

7:10 PM From Al JazeeraThe situation is very dangerous – every day there are more than a hundred who die – every day – every day there are shootings – the most dangerous situation is for foreigners like us – and also us black people – Because Gaddafi brought soldiers from Chad from Niger – they are black and they are killing Arabs.

7:00 PM Saif al-Islam Gaddafi continues round of interviews to persuade international community that the Gaddafis are fighting Al Qaeda.

Meanwhile, the London School of Economics is distancing themselves from their former PhD student. Saif al=Islam had given the school 1.5 million pounds (2.4 million) from his Gadhafi International Charity and Development Foundation. The school said the money was used to fund a North African research program, which has now been suspended.

7:00 PM Saif al_islam to C4 News: “The Libyan people woke up and they have seen the danger.” What spirit is your father in? “Very good. Morals are very high.”

6:00 AM We at WL Central have been publishing horrifying videos of carnage in Libya since February 15, in an attempt to show the world that what the rest of the media were calling “unconfirmed deaths” and “alleged accounts” were in fact real. There is only so much we can take, and the rest of the media has caught on to what is happening in Libya, so we are no longer showing all of the graphic videos and eyewitness accounts. That does not mean they are not still happening, see Libya February 17 for the latest.

According to Al JazeeraWashington is finalising sanctions against Libya; the precise plan will be outlined in “the near future” according to Washington spokesperson, Jay Carney. “The mechanics of the sanctions have not been finalised.” Still no word at all on how this would benefit the Libyan people. Meanwhile, The UAE will send two plane loads of humanitarian aid to Libya, where protesters are battling the regime. Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan was quoted as saying “two planes carrying humanitarian aid will leave Saturday from the UAE to Libya via Turkey in order to meet the urgent needs of the Libyan people in the circumstances they are facing.” Qatar sent a relief plane to Libya on Friday that Qatar Airways said will land in Libya’s second city Benghazi, which is in the hands of the protesters.

The Ottawa Citizen reports defecting generals from Gadhafi’s eastern army units said Friday that they’d moved 1,000 troops toward Tripoli, as well as assigned a special unit to hunt down the Libyan leader. Reserve soldiers are also being called up either to defend cities or march on Tripoli.

The United Nations Security Council is discussing sanctions, including a total arms embargo, freezing of assets and travel bans on Libyan government officials. The European Union is also looking at sanctions. U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order imposing sanctions against the Gadhafi regime, and had not ruled out military action. There is even some suggestion the International Criminal Court might investigate the Libyan government’s attacks on protesters, with a view to indicting senior officials for crimes against humanity.

However, the notion of using western military forces to impose a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent Gadhafi from using warplanes and helicopter gunships against his own people has been stymied by China and Russia, even though both countries have large numbers of nationals in Libya. So far, the only serious military response on the part of western countries has been to use planes and warships to help evacuate nationals stranded in Libya. Western politicians fear their citizens will be used as pawns if Gadhafi should seek reprisals for any sanctions or military interventions.

2011-02-25 Live blog for #Libya #Feb17 from February 15 – 28

FRIDAY, February 25

9:00 PM Saif al-Islam explains “terrorists attacking the government.”

9:00 PM Mercenary protected from and by protesters thank you to @TasnimQ.

9:00 PM Democracy Now has a report from Al Bayda:

We saw signs in different places saying, “Protect Libya. Don’t loot. Don’t damage anything. We want a country that’s not going to be ripped apart by sectarianism, by tribalism. We’re going to stand together as Libyans.” People are very excited about having this chance for freedom. … Some of the doctors we met, we asked them, you know, what it is that they want from the international community at this point. And, you know, I think they were all very hesitant to make any sort of call for international intervention, quite aware of the history of international intervention in the region and quite wary of it. But they did say that they did want a no-fly zone imposed over Libyan cities in order to protect civilians from these devastating air raids. They also said they were dead against the kind of sanctions that the citizens of Libya, the residents of Libya, had suffered under for decades, economic sanctions. Instead, they wanted targeted sanctions, targeting Muammar Gaddafi and his family. But, you know, one of the doctors we spoke to said, “In the end, we want Libya to be freed by the Libyans themselves. We don’t want outside help. We just need to make sure that this kind of carnage doesn’t continue.”

8:20 PM Here is the speech from Muammar Gaddafi via Al Jazeera.

7:00 PM Gaddafi just appeared in green square in Tripoli, standing on a roof, telling his supporters to dance and sing and stay up all night, “Muammer Gaddafi is one of you.” “Life without green banners hoisted is worthless.”

Currently there is reported heavy fighting in many parts of Tripoli, including Fashloum, Ashour, Jumhouria and Souq Al, and the Associated Press reports at least six killed. The east is still largely free of Gaddafi control, but the elite and well armed Khamis brigade, under the command of younger brother Khamis Gaddafi, is reportedly still loyal to Gaddafi.

Two important new articles are posted on WL Central, one, via clayclai, explores the background of arms trading between Libya and its suppliers, and the other, via kgosztola, investigates the possibility of an Islamic Emirate in eastern Libya. “Despite the fact that this may not be true, prepare for this latest report from a Libyan official to become a self-perpetuating thread in the story of the Libyan revolution.” Previously kgosztola explored How US Businesses in Libya Made Certain They Could Operate in the Rogue State, and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi Speaks: What Libyan Cables Say About His Address, WikileaksWorld asked Libya, a Republic for the Masses? and Peter Kemp asked Libya, Bahrain & others: Crimes against humanity, what can we do?

2:30 AM PressTV is reporting that Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, youngest son of Muammar Gaddafi, has joined the protesters in Benghazi. They have included no information regarding their source, neither have there been any recent reports of a “massive crackdown” in Benghazi.

According to the reports, Saif al-Arab, Gaddafi’s youngest son, who was sent by his father to cooperate with Libyan security forces in the massive crackdown on pro-democracy protesters joined forces with the demonstrators in the eastern city of Benghazi on Thursday. Saif al-Arab, who is widely regarded as the most low-profile of Gaddafi’s sons have also hinted that his father would commit suicide or flee to Latin America in the face of rising public outcry over his tyrannical rule. Saif al-Arab is said to have had the backing of combat troops and had military equipment that was dispatched to the eastern parts of turmoil-hit Libya.

12:30 AM The Telegraph reports that the British government is expected to seize billions of assets belonging to Gaddafi “within days”.

12:30 AM The underground prison reported to have held 1500 prisoners in secret in Benghazi.

 

2011-02-24 Live blog for #Libya #Feb17 from February 15 – 28

THURSDAY, February 24

11:30 PM Gaddafi gave his third speech this morning. Translated by Al Jazeera. In his speech he again blames the revolution on “children on drugs” and tells parents to keep their children at home. He says no one over the age of 20 would take part in these acts, there is no reason for a revolution in Libya as there was reason in Egypt and Tunisia, and the whole thing was run by al-Qaeda. He described his position in the government as mostly symbolic “like Queen Elizabeth of England.”

9:30 PM Mustafa Abdel Galil, who resigned three days ago from his post as the country’s justice minister, spoke to Al Jazeera and warned that Gaddafi has biological and chemical weapons, and will not hesitate to use them against civilians, particularly in the case of the capital. “We call on the international community and the UN to prevent Gaddafi from going on with his plans in Tripoli,” he said. “At the end when he’s really pressured, he can do anything. I think Gaddafi will burn everything left behind him.”

Multiple witnesses told Al Jazeera that protesters were being shot in the town of Az Zawiyah by a Libyan army unit led by Gaddafi’s ally, Naji Shifsha. Ali, an eyewitness to the shooting, told Al Jazeera by phone that soldiers began shooting at peaceful protesters on Martyrs’ Square with heavy artillery at around 6am and had continued for 5 hours. He estimated as many as 100 protesters had been killed. Approximately 400 people had been injured and were now in the town’s hospital. In his speech, Gaddafi refered specifically to the protesters in Az Zawiyah, claiming they had been infiltrated by al-Qaeda.

There have been reports that pro-Gaddafi forces attacked Misrata, which was under the control of protesters, as well as Sabha in the south, and Sabratha, near Tripoli, which is in the west. Anti-government protesters appeared to be in control of the country’s eastern coastline, running from the Egyptian border through to the cities of Tobruk and Benghazi.

3:30 AM All week, Youtube has been removing videos from Libyan protesters as fast as they are put up. For days Twitter will only give you one page for the fast moving and well spammed hashtags #Libya and #Feb17, so if you don’t know who to follow there is no information there. Now Wikipedia refuses to display the flag that is flying over most of the country.Update: There is now a compromise.

2:00 AM Things have been very quiet in Tripoli since yesterday, after the speech dozens of people were very scared, even if they were anti government they went into the street and raised up the green flag. The Libya channel is telling people nothing is going on, the streets have been cleaned up, anti-Gaddafi graffiti is painted over, streets have been cleaned up and bodies taken away so even families don’t know where they are, we heard gunshots last night we don’t know whether it was his people celebrating or to put people in fear, he announced in a text message saying the schools were open and everyone should go back to their ordinary lives. … Benghazi said there is supposed to be a march of dozens of people coming our way and they want to start protesting, we don’t know how that is going to be. He announced in his speech that whoever wears green fabric or bandana or whatever on their arm with red writing that they are part of his regime and they are pro government, those people would be given weapons … and there were here six people, we saw them in the streets today.via feb17voices.

2:00 AM There are checkpoints on every street in Tripoli looking for suspicious anti-government people, everyone is living in fear, we have a neighbour that had two sons killed and they go out and wave the green flag out of fear, in my house we are split, one side wants to go back to Gaddafi out of fear of retribution, just giving up. via feb17voices.

2:00 AM Foreign journalists report from Benghazi.

2011-02-24 Street maintenance and a cup of tea with police in #China #CNJasmine2011 #cn227 #OpChina

Image

 

WL Central will be updating news on China, with new items added at the top. You can contact me on twitter @GeorgieBC or by email atadmin@wlcentral.org.

Current time and date in Beijing: 

Sunday, February 27

Since Friday, a message has gone out on Twitter that Boxun.com says was forged. The founders of the Jasmine Revolution in China, decided to cancel the action. Watching so many people be arrested and missing, we are deeply ashamed. It was a difficult decision: Please do not go to the afternoon to take to the streets, and the meetings at 2 pm every Sunday is also canceled. A “climate of fear” was also created in the two days prior to scheduled protests, with many midnight raids and arrests of activists. Many activists were invited to “come in for a cup of tea”, the euphemism for an interrogation. The Chinese government is censoring not just the word “Jasmine”, as the name of the revolution, but many other plant names as well, such as “azalea”, “rhododendron” etc. There were two days of heavy snow in Beijing leading up to protests.

The protests in China today were marked largely by the beating of anyone attempting to film them. Either the Chinese government is afraid of the powerful images they have seen from other countries, or they just could not find a better way to deal with the “strolling” protest. The BBC says, “unable to distinguish the protesters, who’d been called to “stroll” peacefully and silently past McDonald’s restaurant at 1400, from genuine shoppers they focussed on picking out foreign reporters and cameramen.”

The BBC describes the paranoia of the government reaction: Dozens of police vans were parked on the roadside, uniformed men with dogs patrolled up and down, street cleaning vans drove up and down spraying water to keep people away, and a sudden rash of suspiciously unnecessary street repairs meant big hoardings had been put up. … All around us it was obvious that at least half the people on the street were plainclothes state security officers.

The BBC reporters were beaten, detained and prevented from filming, as were journalists fromBloombergCNN and many more.

The CNN reporter writes What makes China’s treatment of the international press so bewildering is that there had been no protests for us to cover here. Not that the government should be treating foreign journalists this way under any circumstances, but the authorities have been lashing out with such severity in an attempt to intimidate us even though we have nothing to report. All we would have done this weekend was shown that the streets of Beijing were perfectly peaceful and gone home. My own experience and those of my colleagues show how incredibly terrified and paranoid the Chinese authorities are of any anti-government movement forming in China.

From online reports:

When passing through Tiananmen Square, there are far fewer visitors, and many guard, patrol, and military police. Getting off at the Chang’an Avenue, Wangfujing Street cannot be entered, police and police cars are everywhere. North along Wangfujing Street, near McDonald’s, it is like the street is a police officer, it is so covered with heavily armed police. Chang’an Avenue from the southern tip of Wangfujing Street is almost all uniformed police standing and walking. In the surrounding area there are a large number of police cars and police on standby in the ambush. McDonald’s is the center of the whole situation as to form a pocket. The McDonald’s is located at the center front of the street, the ring fenced up with about 100 square meters, with signs saying “construction maintenance”.

McDonald’s restaurant is still thriving, very busy, with the obvious difference is that there are many not eating and much security. The second floor had more than a dozen transparent windows onto the street which are now pasted with colored paper. (On February 20 afternoon there were a lot of onlookers watching and taking pictures here.) In the entire second floor of the restaurant there is a an oppressive atmosphere. Sitting on the second floor of the restaurant are a lot of Westerners, but not customers, it is clear that there are many plain-clothes officers.

At 2 o’clock, at the narrow entrance of McDonald’s, the disorder on the streets of the “visitors” increased significantly. Police are also tense. McDonald’s closed the door to the east, which reads: “This door is bad, please take the side door”. Wangfujing Street in the mouth of the southernmost tip of the Chang’an Street, the police cordoned off altogether, to prevent pedestrian access, they will only be allowed out. At McDonald’s steps in front, the police are not allowing pedestrians to stay, not even the passing line. About 2:20 or so, the police station on both sides of the wall and adults are not allowed in, only allowed out. The “wall” inside of the police and plain clothes kept shouting: “Go look, go look, do not stop.” A water truck sprayed ten meters long in front of McDonald’s, back and forth. Next were a large number of cleaners with a broom, swinging. The crowd was spitting white foam of the spray.

Chengdu, Tianfu Square has flower beds cordoned off the edge, the open space under the subway is also cordoned off leaving only the channel for access, where you cannot stop. The entry to the junction of the larger square is covered with police.

At around 2:30 PM, it seems that the “core” location at Daibu Zhu had many onlookers gathered around, like Wangfujing Bookstore, and other places. The police and plain clothes police dispersed the crowd: “Do not stop, leave it.” Near the front door Chang’an Avenue, a young man with a flower in his hands was caught by police after some scuffling. The presence of foreign nationals was under great pressure, the police in the alley entrance demanded examination papers. If police saw the Westerners drive by, they were advised away. Public photography is almost impossible, too risky, only use camera phone.

In Beijing, 1,227 guard police, ridiculous, stupid, brutal living dead scared to death, in Beijing’s most bustling downtown, perhaps the world’s most dangerous place, if you have a flower in your hand you will be immediately arrested, this may have been a good Sunday, but only to dispatch thousands of police in Beijing on such a small place to control and mobilize the urban construction, urban management, sanitation and even foreign companies, so vast an action.

A good collection of Twitter statements. Since the first tweet calling for “Jasmine Revolution” protests went viral on the Chinese Internet, the Chinese state machine has gone into overdrive to prevent this imagined uprising. Among other visible measures such as arresting activists, censoring the Chinese Internet, and sending police to every designated “protest” site, Chinese Twitter users have noticed that suddenly a new group of Chinese Twitter accounts opened and became active during the last week. Some of these accounts have forged the names of activists and even included avatar photos of dissidents and activists. Most of the messages sent from these accounts, which have been tracked and compiled by other Chinese Twitter users, include pro-government comments typically sent by the so-called 50 Cent Party.

Videos of protests are below, but the first is a summary.

A Youtube video of the censored Chinese cartoon about the Year of the Rabbit

As China gears up for the Year of the Rabbit, the nation’s Communist authorities have censored a bunny cartoon with political overtones.
The Chinese New Year – which falls this year on February 3 – is the country’s biggest holiday. Families come together for several days of feasting and gift-giving. But, this year, a New Year-themed cartoon posted on a popular Chinese website seems to have rankled officials. Censors have deleted the video, in an apparent reaction to its biting political satire.

The three-minute animation begins with rabbit babies being poisoned, a blatant reference to a recent toxic milk scandal that left six children dead. The rabbits are then forced to attend a political meeting with a group of vicious-looking tigers who promise a “harmonious forest”. That is a thinly-veiled gibe at the Communist party’s favourite, much-mocked slogan, “Harmonious Society”. The tigers then proceed to set the bunnies on fire, bulldoze their homes, and run down rabbit pedestrians. In the midst of the carnage, the tigers instruct them to remain obedient and “not speak out of turn”.

Many in China will see obvious parallels with current events. A fire in a Shanghai block of flats last year left more than 50 dead and caused an outcry over substandard buildings, while forced evictions to make way for new property developments have sparked dissent. Most recently, a hit-and-run accident involving the son of a local police chief – who then tried to evade arrest – focused attention on nepotism and corruption.
The cartoon’s creator “kirjabing” has reportedly said he sees no connections with Chinese society. But the censors obviously disagree.
They may have been most disturbed by the animation’s final scenes, in which the rabbits themselves turn savage and attack the tigers.
The message for many is clear: pushed too hard, the Chinese people may one day rise up and overthrow their Communist leaders.

Thursday, February 24

The boxunblog.com site has asked again for what it called “strolling protests” against the ruling Communist Party at 2pm on Sunday. The protests are now described as a game to be played every Sunday at 2:00, with the following players: the people who started the game; the police; the on-lookers, in a central fixed position, being careful not to provoke police reaction, be aggressive or make unnecessary sacrifices early in the game; the passers-by, who have the potential to be reserve power and add force – they may not know of the protests or may be more cautious, but they are expected to swell the numbers of on-lookers eventually; and the overlookers, which are onlookers and passers-by at a greater distance. The object of the game at this point is to change the balance of power between the police and the protesters, and to do nothing to provoke a police reaction until crowd numbers are high enough to withstand the police.

“We invite every participant to stroll, watch, or even just pretend to pass by. As long as you are present, the authoritarian government will be shaking with fear,” it said, with much truth if the police presence last Sunday is any indication.

China had predictably blocked internet searches for Egypt and other protesting countries. According to the Telegraph, three Chinese internet users have been charged with subversion for re-posting information regarding the Jasmine revolution, “a Hong Kong-based civil rights groups has reported”. The head of China’s intelligence and security services said on a February 21 that Beijing should make “social management”, controlling the public to prevent protests or other incidents, a top priority.

According to many, the Chinese government was overreacting to a joke but others are reading more into the movement. STRATFOR noticed the gatherings occurred in cities other than the 13 listed in the anonymous call for protests published Feb. 19 by North Carolina-based Boxun.com. In particular, Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, saw gatherings that may have involved hundreds of people, and residents of other cities, including Urumqi, Xining, Fuzhou and Anshan, went to appointed places of gathering at the same time demonstrations were being held in Beijing and Shanghai, two cities included in the Boxun list. (Boxun was founded by Chinese expatriate Watson Meng and is banned in China.) While no protests were reported in Urumqi, Xining, Fuzhou or Anshan, that people tried to assemble in those cities suggests they had been informed of the planned events through channels other than Boxun. Some have even posted messages on Boxun’s message board saying they had shown up but that there were too few people at the gatherings to stage a real demonstration. It appears some groups of people, including elderly Chinese concerned about land seizures — who are less likely to circumvent Chinese censors and gain access to banned foreign websites — appeared at the designated sites, raising questions about how they could have been informed. There are also questions about the events themselves. They were more like public gatherings than actual protests. There were no banners, posters or flags, just people milling about, talking among themselves and to passers-by. The messages circulating in China calling for people to come out directed them to the appointed places and instructed them primarily to exchange opinions with others. It remains unclear who sent the messages and organized the gatherings — Boxun claims it only forwarded the Feb. 19 call for protests — and whether people were also told not to engage in aggressive protest behavior.

Sunday, February 20

    • 2:50 PM A paranoia in Beijing today, police are guarding all the roads, a large number of “red armbands marked” street patrols.
    • Many people were controlled at home, not allowed to go out.
    • Thousands of people in Wangfujing, but how many tourists, how many lurkers, how many plain-clothes police officers, it is difficult to distinguish.
    • China Mobile, China Unicom has blocked the word “Jasmine”.
    • “Many rights defenders have disappeared (into police custody) in recent days, others are under house arrest and their mobile phones are blocked.The police detachment outside my door has increased. They follow us if we go out,” rights attorney Ni Yulan told AFP.
    • Prominent rights lawyers Jin Bianling, Teng Biao, Xu Zhiyong and Jiang Tianyong have been detained by police, according to their friends and family.
    • Chinese President Hu Jintao called on Saturday for “further strengthening and improving management of the Internet, improving the standard of management of virtual society, and establishing mechanisms to guide online public opinion.”
    • From @LiberationtechAs reported by netizens, authorities of Guangdong & Jiangsu ordered teachers & students in colleges not to leave campus. Over 100 journalists, big crowd & police. I’m betting some protesters there, but too scared to chant. Young man hoping to see, perhaps participate in protest turned to me & said “It didn’t work”. Whether it works or not, important thing is ppl to break sense of invincibility of Chinese regime, break fear factor. In northern city Harbin, police cars blocked central square. Mass protesters are moving toward Sofia Church area. Physical confrontation happened when police surrounded a men with a jasmine. (via watchmen725) Two plainclothes took him from front of McDonalds and shoved him around the corner. When u type jasmine, it says “according to relevant laws, regulations & policies, some search results not displayed.” Did talk to Chinese who came for the #cn220 protest. Summary: It didn’t work. And government don’t care about the people. No crowd gathered in Hangzhou Department Store bc there were more than 20 uniformed officers, said they were conducting emergency drill. Guy w white flowers forced away by police said: “I found em in trash & thought it was pity to throw them” conflicting info RT @great__firewall: Jasmine Revolution not blocked on Google in China. “I go home & get lucky on road see 12 cars near bus station, abt 20 ppl picked up in Guangzhou & put in van”At this pt all reports are consistent #CN220 seems not to have worked. Would appreciate if #China activists could share learnings w/us.
    • The Revolution That Wasn’t”

Photo from Beijing protest location.
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    • 7:30 AM Protest sites covered with police.
    • Beijing about 3:15 pm: Beijing Wangfujing: site flow back to normal, most foreign journalists had left, police were still patrolling the McDonald’s door, four crossroads more than a dozen police cars are still parked
    • noon plainclothes men (suspected of State Security), said he people today took to the streets to prevent social disorder … realize the consequences of you, this is a very serious political problem, talk about bad online about politics, to what purpose. Cherish your work, not talk about politics.
    • Liang Xiaojun: workers surrounded by the police, the Wangfujing stop full of police cars, there are emergency vehicles.
    • Tianfu Square is full of police, ten meters of a post, a lot of new frame camera, teams of armed police to walk around. No one thirty when we started sitting in a chair, and to prohibit photography peddlers, and police greatly increased.
    • Harbin, the former movie theater, many police officers, police cars, not close to square, people walking to hang District Sofia Cathedral Square movement.
    • Wangfujing site: more than 100 uniformed police officers.
    • Beijing about 2:35 pm: more and more people, more and more police officers, journalists are also many, just that they were attempting to arrest people we rescued, now cleared.
    • Blue Blood mantis: is the public plaza in Shenzhen, and now many people here, but see at least three police cars and 20 police officers and the Police Association over the distribution of each corner.
    • Wangfujing) field is crowded with people, the police are pulling a hand-held young jasmine, live more than 300 police.
    • From @LiberationtechIt seems that #CN220 students are coming out & police are telling them it’s a false rumor, go home. A common notice in campus: Recently some outlaws are holding illegal gatherings. Be alert! Do not spread rumors! Do not participate!

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Photo from Beijing protest location.

  • 5:00 AM Protests called for Beijing, Shanghai, Tienjin, Nanjing, Xi’an, Chengdu, Changsha, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Changchun, Harbin and Wuhan at 2pm on Sunday (Feb. 20).
  • Tung Li-wen, a professor of public security at Taiwan’s Central Police University, said an uprising triggered by an incident is possible. For example, when the offices of China Network Television caught fire in February 2009, as many as 100,000 people gathered around the building. “If some people called for democracy or political reform within a mass of people, turmoil or even revolution could occur.”
  • Temporary website for China’s Jasmine Revolution, a great resource. Already reporting rumours of house arrests, people missing and confiscated material. This is a tempoorary site set up after the first site was attacked.
  • “Hong Kong people should also join the call. Gathering Place: Victoria Park.”
  • Su Yutong, an activist who now lives in Germany, listed on Twitter at least 14 people who had been taken away so far and called that count incomplete.
  • China blocks searches for the word “jasmine” on the largest Twitter-like microblog.

Photo from Beijing protest location.

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Despite the Great Firewall, China is not oblivious to what is happening in the Arab world and elsewhere, and the revolution is coming, though with far more stealth required. China has far more sophisticated methods of dealing with both censorship and dissent than the Arab nations, and are capable of even more brutal disregard of human life. Unlike Gaddafi, who reportedly threatened to kill all the Benghazi citizens and replace them with central Africans, China has always had millions of people to spare. They are also far more oblivious to outside pressure or disapproval. But the same millions that allow them to disregard small protests would make a mass revolution impossible to combat.

Update: And here may be the facebook page. Awaiting a proper translation, but according to Google:

In response to the earlier jasmine revolution, China’s civil society has been scheduled tomorrow in all the major cities will be held at Ren, expressing the aspirations of the Chinese Communists. Although the Social Democratic connections in Hong Kong, but also for the response.

Mainland assembly call reads as follows (Source ︰ Boxun Network) ︰

Whether you are a stone baby’s parents, relocatees, social tenants, Rehabilitation in ex-servicemen, private teachers, bank buyouts, laid-off workers, or petitioners; whether you are or on the “money goes will be the case,” concluded dissatisfied do not like someone says “Dad Gang” does not like to be asked, “a rational treatment of social justice”, or actor does not like to see temperature performance; whether you are a signatory to the Charter Lingba, Falun Gong practitioners, or the Communist Party members of democratic parties; or you’re just a spectators; at this moment, you and I are Chinese, you and I are a dream for the future of the Chinese people, we must be responsible for their own future for our children’s future responsible.

We just need to come to a designated place, far from the crowd, silently follow, the flow, you bravely shouted the slogan, perhaps, from this moment of history began to change.

Come together, are brothers and sisters, please help each other. In the event of adverse treatment of persons involved in meetings with the maximum tolerated treatment, others also please support. The end of the meeting, do not leave rubbish, the Chinese, are of high quality, the pursuit of democracy and freedom is conditional.

If this failed to hold meetings convened by the city, every Sunday afternoon in the two continue to live before, persevering!

Unified slogan:

We want to eat
We want to work
We want housing

We should be fair
We Yaogong justice

Protection of private property rights
Maintenance of judicial independence

Start political reform
End one-party rule
Press restrictions
Xinwenziyou

Long live freedom
Long live democracy

Time:

At 2:00 p.m. on February 20th 2011

Location:

McDonald’s in front of Beijing Wangfujing
Shanghai People’s Square in front of Peace Cinema
Under the Drum Tower in Tianjin
Nanjing Drum Tower Square Silk Street department store entrance
North Avenue entrance of Carrefour in Xi’an
Under Chairman Mao, like Chengdu Tianfu Square
Dah Sing Changsha Wuyi Square Building a new entrance
Hangzhou Wulin Square, Hangzhou Department Store entrance
Entrance of the Guangzhou People’s Park Starbucks
Entrance of Nanjing North Street Shenyang, Kentucky
Democratic Avenue West Culture Square in Changchun Happigo supermarket entrance
Harbin Harbin cinema entrance
Jiefang Road, Wuhan World Trade Plaza, McDonald’s door

Not listed in a place of meeting in this city, your own focus to the city center square.

Sources for information

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