Arab Spring Weekly Update
|October 21, 2011|
Muammar Gaddafi’s death sparked hope and happiness among Iranians. Ali Hamedani, Iranian reporter, updated his Facebook status, simply asking: “Who’s next?”
Ehsan Norouzi, another journalist said: “After governing for 40 years, he was trampled to death in his own town. God willing, soon Asad [Syria’s president] and Seyed Ali [Khamenei, Iran’s leader] will have the same fate.”
بعد ۴۰ سال حکومت، تو زادگاه خودش زیر دستوپای مردم له و لورده شد. ایشالا قسمت اسد و آسدعلی هم بشه زودتر #قذافی
@cafechi tweeted: “Gaddafi, too, was bullying one day. Look at him now!
قذافی هم یه زمانی خیلی هارت و پورت می کرد و فرمانده کل قوا بود
@sobheroshan also tweeted: “Gaddafi's went to hell! Countdown for Khamenei.”
زپارس دیلی نیوز - بینندگان،به درک وصل شدن قذافی را دیدیم، منتظر همین سرنوست برای خامنه ای
On Monday, October 17th, citizens of La Goulette awoke to the return of former president Ben Ali. A towering poster of the ousted dictator reappeared on the same billboard that once displayed a portrait of Ali during his rule. A video surfaced on October 18th which showed Tunisians congregating around the poster. The enraged crowd tore the poster from the wall revealing another poster with the message: “Wake up, the dictatorship can return! Go vote.” The poster was part of a campaign by Engagement Citoyen, designed to encourage Tunisians to vote Sunday, October 23rd, in the first election of the Arab Spring.
Emirati activists have released an online petition calling on Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates, to release political detainees jailed this past spring for publicly insulting senior officials, known as the UAE Five. The activists were part of a movement inside the UAE calling for democratic reforms in the government. The five dissidents are Ahmad Mansour al-Shehhi (a writer/blogger and engineer), Dr. Nasser Bin Ghaith Al-Marri (a lecturer at the Sorbonne Abu Dhabi and activist), and online activists Fahad Salim Dalk, Hassan Ali al-Khamis, Ahmed Abdul-Khalaq. The activists boycotted their October 2nd hearing as part of a refusal to legitimize an undemocratic system. The online community in support of the UAE Five continues to highlight the flawed UAE legal system and continues to show solidarity with fellow Gulf states.
The Egyptian blogger and former political prisoner, Mohammed Maree, reported on his blog that military rulers in Egypt have reinstated the Mubarak-era State Security Investigations Service (SSI) to track dissidents. The most recent example of this involves Egyptian blogger Massad Abu Fakher, who spent three years in prison during the Mubarak regime after calling for equal rights for the Bedouin living in Sinai. After Massad Abu Fakher recently tried to apply for a passport, a process that usually takes one to three days in Egypt, he found that his application was denied by State Security in Ismailia.
On March 7th, Egyptian citizens in many major cities penetrated SSI’s headquarters in an attempt to seize all of the agency’s documentation. Police reacted by setting fire to many of their files, protecting themselves from future prosecution by destroying evidence. Egyptians believe that this incident shut down State Security, or what is known as Amn Al Dawla permanently.
Several Lybian bloggers say that Muammar Al Gaddafi’s death is one of the greatest days in their lives. Activists posted a picture of the young man that supposedly killed the dictator, calling him a “hero”. The picture was taken after he killed Al Gaddafi and shows him holding the golden gun that was found on Al Gaddafi’s body.
A video showing Gaddafi caught by the rebels was posted on Youtube. A separate
video shows Arabic and Libyan citizens displaying their joy at seeing one of the most brutal dictators humiliated by the rebels.
salman_alodah د. سلمان العودة
“After nine months of laboring, a free Libya is delivered.”
BadrAljaafari Badr Aljaafari
دم الشهدا..ما يمشيش هبا .... قولوا لمعمر وعياله .. ليبيا فيها رجاله //“The blood of the martyrs is not cheap. Tell Gaddafi and his family that Libya has its men.”
Suhair Attasi, one of the most famous Syrian dissidents, wrote the following on her twitter account while hiding in Damascus:
suhairatassi Suhair Atassi
“Congratulations to the Lybians. Oh Syria, don’t be afraid, Bashar will follow Gaddafi. We will topple him and try him before a public court, where all of us will attend.”
Egyptian activists have also reflected the victory in Libya:
AmrRodriguez Amr Rodriguez
يا طنطاوى يا ابن الوسخة ,,, ثورة ليبيا هتبقى النسخة
“Oh Tantawi, you are nasty, the Libyan revolution will be duplicated.”
Despite the brutality of Assad’s regime, protesters in major Syrian cities demonstrated in the streets to show their support of the capturing and killing of Gaddafi, sending their congratulations to the Libyans, and promising that Bashar Assad will face the same fate. Syrian activists have captured these events with their i-phones, posting the footage on Youtube in an effort to let the world know that many in Syria support Gaddafi’s overthrow. It is widely known that most Syrian media outlets do not have autonomy and news of such events surface almost exclusivly through independent citizens. Below are videos of the protests that took place in major Syrian cities:
Dair Al Zor
Recent events in Libya have not discouraged the Assad regime from continuing to oppress the Syrian people. A graphic video shows two cousins that were killed by the regime on Friday, October 21st. Despite the brutality, the regime insists that it is working on reform. Activists in Syria circulated a Youtube video which starts with a speech of Bashar Assad promising reform and then shows footage of force used on peaceful protesters.