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Libya: “The Point of No Return”

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Libya, Citizen Media, Human Rights, Politics, Protest, War & Conflict

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011 [1].

Unrest in Libya continues after over a week of protests defying ruler Colonel Gaddafi and fierce crackdowns on protestors [2] by the authorities.

A tweet from @LaraABCNews [3] says it all:

Depending on where you are in #Libya it's either calm or chaos – people in Benghazi say they're back to work, banks & supermarkets open.

CNN has reported [4] a huge rally in second largest city Benghazi, and the first edition of the city's new newspaper has hit the stands. [5]

The story is very different in the capital Tripoli, which is said to be the last stronghold of the four-decade rule of Muammar Al Gaddafi [6].

@LaraABCNews: [7] More from #Tripoli: There is massacre here…we need the people in the world to shout with us. God help us, my children are scared to death

@bencnn: [8] Libyan Air Force pilot tells me that a colleague in base near #Tripoli says pilots executed for refusing regime orders. #cnn #Libya #feb17

@AliTweel: [9]In #Tripoli I have 2 friends lost in action since 3 days, please pray for them. Feb17

@LaraABCNews: [10] one woman we spoke to in #Tripoli: Where is the United Nations? We don't need sanctions…we need people to stop the killing.

As forces began descending on Tripoli, Gaddafi spoke to the nation promising to kill protesters and clean Libya “house by house [11].” If these are, in fact, the last hours of Gaddafi's regime, these are nervous hours. Especially for those with roots in Libya.

@Cyrenaican: [12] I have grown up around people who have had their parents killed. My father was imprisoned in Libya. Every family touched, no exceptions

@Cyrenaican: [13] It's been 42 years of this. The most perverse, ruthless killing. 42 years of this ruthlessness, of this torture, this dismemberment.

@AJELive: [14] AJE correspondent in Libya reports: People there feel they've “reached a point of no return” http://aje.me/hVJqZr #aljazeera #libya #feb17

On Thursday, February 24, 2011, large swaths of the country have reportedly fallen to opposition protesters and defecting military units. People are beginning to document human rights violations allegedly carried out by forces loyal to Gaddafi.

Regardless of what you think about the effectiveness of social media in organizing and keeping alive protests throughout the Middle East, these tools, along with some [15] analog devices, have proved useful documenting some human rights violations.

As one tweep explains to the outside world:

@ChangeInLibya: [16] To Media: despite the fact some alarming info u cud get is fake, remember, it could be true. Never ignore anything you get outright

Here are some of the reports on Twitter:

@marwame: [17] RT @mohamedmesrati: Qaddafi supporters attack mosque in Zawiya with anti-aircraft missile http://j.mp/fdzHmI #libya #feb17

@monaeltahawy: [18]On number of dead in Zawia RT f@feblib 14 confirmed, thats the latest i got, its my hometown #Libya

@libyanexpat: [19] @lebandrej they used aircraft missiles on the mosques and then sustained atackes from both the ground and the air.

@BBCKimGhattas: [20] British woman left #Libya thru airport, told by woman also fleeing that, everyday, they buried 20 to 30 of their neighbours.

@SultanAlQassemi: [21]Tifina Tuareg Society chief in Britain Akli Chakka to Al Arabiya: The Khamis & Saif (Gaddafi) Battalions executed 185 Libyan soldiers #Libya

The documentation also takes the form of video.

This video, uploaded by ibntarabulus [22] and created by the group One Day on Earth [23], shows a mass burial in Tripoli.

This video [24] (GRAPHIC), called “Derna Libya Soldiers Killed for Not Killing Their Own,” was uploaded to Youtube by MeddiTV [25] on Wednesday, February 23, 2011. The video shows perhaps as many as 30 soldiers face-down, most of them with bound hands. All of them were shot, some multiple times.

This video [26] (GRAPHIC), called “Executed Soldiers – Sirt Libya (Refused to Kill their own People) جنود تم اعدامهم ,” shows the same footage.

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011 [1].