TUESDAY, February 22
Tripoli at night
10:30 PM From Al Jazeera:
- Abdul-Fatah Younis, the interior minister and an army general, announced his renunciation of his post and support for the “February 17 revolution” and urged the Libyan army to “join the people and respond to their legitimate demands”.
- Amr Moussa, the Arab League chief, had decided to discontinue the participation of the Libya delegation in the meetings of the council and all its institutions.
- Ali al-Essawi, who resigned as Libyan ambassador to India, said fighter jets had been used by the government to bomb civilians, live fire was being used against protesters, and that foreigners had been hired to fight on behalf of the government. He called the violence “a massacre”, and urged the UN to block Libyan airspace in order to “protect the people”.
- Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, accused Gaddafi of launching a “genocide against the Libyan people”.
- A group of Libyan army officers have issued a statement urging fellow soldiers to “join the people” and help remove Muammar Gaddafi.
- Ali Aujali, the Libyan ambassador to the United States, called for the Gaddafi’s resignation, saying he must step down and give Libyans a chance “to make their future”.
- A.H. Elimam, Libya’s ambassador to Bangladesh, resigned to protest against the killing of his family members by government soldiers.
- The deputy chief and other staff at Libya’s mission to the United Nations sided with the revolt against their country’s leader and called on the Libyan army to help overthrow “the tyrant Muammar Gaddafi.” They said they were serving the Libyan people, demanded “the removal of the regime immediately” and urged other Libyan embassies to follow suit.
- The Libyan ambassasador to Australia, Musbah Allafi, cut its ties with Gaddafi
- The embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, cut ties with Gaddafi’s government, with ambassador Bubaker al-Mansori telling AFP: “We are not loyal to him, we are loyal to the Libyan people.”
10:10 PM “BREAKING: Libyan ministor of interior has announced he has joined the CITIZENS REVOLUTION BREAKING CONFIRMED” via @ShababiLibya
10:00 PM Human Rights Watch reports: Statements from doctors working in two Tripoli hospitals obtained by Human Rights Watch by email confirmed that at least 62 people have been killed since February 20 but these are figures from only two hospitals. Other witnesses told Human Rights Watch there were at least 50 bodies in the morgue at Abu Salim Hospital, all casualties of clashes over the weekend. A doctor said that Tripoli’s Central Hospital had received 12 dead, brought in by emergency services from the area around Green Square, the site of anti-government protests on February 21.
9:30 PM Very interesting map from the Globe and Mail showing where Gaddafi money has been used to prop up other fragile governments in the already unrestful central Africa. Eyes on Mali, Liberia, Niger, Chad, Central African Republic, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia.
8:00 PM “he threatened to cleanse Libya house by house.. we have excess youth gaddafi, all ready to die for our homeland” via @ShababiLibya
8:00 PM “We are all a bit upset tonight, not because we feel defeated, but because we know gaddafi, he will try to kill anyone and everyone ” via @ShababiLibya
8:00 PM “Situation in tripoli we hear helicopters overheard no firing just yet, benghazi is free”via @ShababiLibya
7:00 PM “BREAKING: Helicopters circling Tripoli now. Gaddafi’s soldiers are armed with machine guns with ammo.” via @ShababiLibya
7:00 PM Muammar Gaddafi gave a speech on state TV in which he threatened the Libyan people for an hour and a half, alluding favourably to Tiananmen Square and threatening to cleanse Libya of protesters house by house. Will have more soon.
6:00 PM “Gaddafi speech: ‘I have no intentions to step down like others have I want to die here as a martyr libya is the tree, and we have watered this tree with our blood’ He orders the police and army to crush the uprising, let me translate, he orders for the crush of a nation i think he is going to cause a huge massacre and then lose the country..” via @ShababiLibya
6:00 PM “@AJArabic confirms the air strikes over Tripoli #Libya #Feb17 will explain more they say” via @ShababiLibya
8:15 AM Al Arabiya reports
- The headquarters of al-Jamahiriya 2 TV and al-Shababia radio in Tripoli, the state controlled media, have been sacked, and several government buildings set on fire. State broadcasts were interrupted, but resumed this morning.
- The Austrian Army announced that airspace over the Libyan capital Tripoli has been closed until further notice, and retracted later in the day.
- A coalition of over 50 Libyan Islamic leaders, the Network of Free Ulema of Libya, has issued a fatwa telling all Muslims it is their duty to rebel against the Libyan leadership and demanding the release of all jailed protesters, Islamic scholar Sadiq al-Ghriani, who was arrested after criticizing the government, and “all imprisoned demonstrators, including many of our young students”. They have thereby demonstrated total infidelity to the guidance of God and his beloved Prophet. They said Gaddafi’s government “have demonstrated total arrogant impunity and continued, and even intensified, their bloody crimes against humanity. They have thereby demonstrated total infidelity to the guidance of God and his beloved Prophet (peace be upon him). This renders them undeserving of any obedience or support, and makes rebelling against them by all means possible a divinely ordained duty.”
- Libya’s justice minister Mustapha Abdeljalil resigned in objection to “the excessive use of force” against demonstrators Quryna newspaper reported on Monday. The country’s ambassadors to the UK, Indian and Indonesia have also resigned to protest against the crackdown on protesters and the staff of Libyan U.N. mission has said they would now represent only the people of Libya.
- The U.N. Security Council will meet Tuesday to discuss the crisis in Libya, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. He had spoken to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi “I urged him that the human rights and freedom of assembly and freedom of speech must be fully protected. I forcefully urged him to stop the violence against demonstrators and I again strongly underlined the importance of respecting human rights of those demonstrators. The aspirations and concerns of the people should be fully respected and heard by the authorities of the countries concerned.” Ban stressed the need to “ensure the protection of the civilian population under any circumstances.”
3:30 AM Guardian’s blog reports an interview with a man in Benghazi who told them more than 350 people have been killed, not including the discovery made inside the Birka Barracks by those who entered it following its surrender. “We found 150 corpses burning and we believe they were the bodies of officers and soldiers who refused to follow orders to fire on the the people.” We posted a video of this yesterday.
2:30 AM Al Jazeera’s live stream reports that Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations has gone from being “deeply concerned” to “outraged” IF reports of Gaddafi firing on protesters from helicopters, etc. are true. There are indications that in a few hours we may have word that there may be discussion of a meeting.
2:30 AM Gaddafi appeared on Libyan TV with a giant umbrella and said “To prove I am not in Venezuela” and nothing else.