Skip to main content

You are in the 241st Witness Revolution diary, bearing witness to pro-democracy movements in North Africa, the Middle East and beyond. We aim here to simply report, from as many reliable worldwide resources as possible, on the successes, challenges or failures of the brave people striving against oppression for representative democracy with civil and human rights. One small bit of assurance that they do not strive in obscurity. Please see the 200th edition where participants shared what this series means to them.

We interrupt our live-blogging focus on Libya alone, to interject our regularly scheduled update of all of Arab Spring. You will see in the comments that we have a practice of beginning the subject with the country name to enable scans of a particular location of interest. With rapidly unfolding events in Libya, we don't expect Libyan comments will consistently get this treatment, but it would be very helpful to maintain it for non-Libyan comments. Thank you.


In each country the rebellion and repression play out differently. In Bahrain, early, large protests were brutally quelled, with even the location they centered their protests at being razed. Protests now happen in smaller groups, most often at night and the repression is in a more insidious, security-state apparatus type of way. That is, rather than continuing the public scenes of shooting, what has ensued are invasions of people's houses at night, including throwing gas into homes from which people have died. People are fired from their jobs for being suspected of participating in protests. Many people are detained and tortured and/or put on trial in front of a closed military tribunal with little to no access to a legal defense. (Including doctors and nurses arrested for treating wounded protesters.) Documentation trickles in, in the form of photos of bodies, citizen films of arrests and statements from family members and people being released from detention. A Bahraini delegation has asked the ICC to look into crimes against humanity and an investigation has begun. Notable for Bahrain is that early on we saw that Twitter streams from protesters were gone and replaced by pro-monarchy propaganda. We turn to Facebook and a few human rights sites for information on Bahrain. Here, we try to focus on witnessing the individuals who have unjustly suffered or died for their brave stand demanding their basic civil and human rights, so that in some small way, they are known to the world:

Bahrain: Sectarian cleansing campaign to the security institutions

Friday, March 20, 2011 Jawad Shamlan’s family received a phone call from the Ministry of Interior stating Jawad’s death in mysterious circumstances [1]. Shamlan used to work at Al khamis police station, that day he had delayed from the usual time, his family tried to contact him several times on his mobile but with no avail. Until someone answered the frequent calls saying that your son was killed.

The family received the corpse on the second day; Signs of live bullets appeared on his legs and stomach also, a sharp stab in his back [2].

There are graphic photos at the story in the link.

Bahrain frees Head of Nursing Society and Deputy Head Teachers Society
On 21 August 2011 Bahraini authorities released Rola al-Safar, the country’s top nursing official, and a teachers’ union official, Jalila al-Salman, after several jailhouse meetings with the head of an international panel investigating alleged abuses in Bahrain. They were detained for over five months during crackdowns on Shiite-led protests.

The charges against both activists are not dropped. Next Sunday 28 August 2011 Ms Rula AlSafar along with more than dozen doctors and nurses will appear at military court again as their trial resume, and despite the royal decree no 62 last June to transfer all cases to civilian courts. Latest information published today indicate a new decree with a law that amends the first one and orders misdemeanor cases to be transferred to civilian courts while the felonies to be resumed at the military court (National Safety court)

Syria is marked by persistent protests in the face of unparalleled violent repression. Here we see people return to the streets even after days where 10s of people are shot in the streets. We have seen some of the most traumatically graphic scenes out of Syria, including the deaths of over 2,000 peaceful protesters including nearly 200 children. In Syria, mentally and physically disabled people have been detained, tortured and murdered. In once case, a mentally disabled young man had just recovered from a gunshot wound to the head when he was detained and then tortured to death. The gruesome inhumanity is beyond anything that could ever be justified as politically necessary. Still, they keep to the streets and they continue to peacefully call for the end of this regime and the building of a democratic Syria.

(h/t JustJennifer) (08.23.2011) Homs | 75-year old woman narrates how Syrian forces opened fire on her

(h/t JustJennifer ) (08.21.2011) Little Syrian girl denounces Assad's speech!

(h/t JustJennifer)
Breaking News: hundreds of protests all over #Syria and the main chant is : Syria don't worry, #Bashar is after #Qaddafy!

Yemen is marked by some of the most impressive displays of massive protests. Week after week, we have seen protests in multiple cities where cameras pan and there are people from one horizon to the other, beyond where the eye can see. They, too, have been shot at. One group of protesters were living in tents at a protest site until government security types came and set them on fire in the middle of the night while people were sleeping. One of the more horrific scenes we've witnessed. Like Syria, they have towns under siege. Unlike other places, there is a more complex dynamic, as armed opposition in some places have taken up against the government forces leaving the peacefully protesting civilians in the crosshairs. Like, Bahrain, we have more difficulty getting information because the government has taken control of most internet access. Still, some photos and videos do make it out and we have at least two  Yemeni-based web sites where we find information. One of this is now only in Arabic, as the English mirror site has been shut down for months. Periodically, we lose access to these sites, as well. Yemen is one place where we do not, as yet, have anyone with personal contact, so, at times, we lose the ability to report anything at all.

August 11th Updates!
Three shot and injured by Central Security in Taiz's Jamal st this evening Ramadan 10th - August 11th.
Maher Mohammed Al-Maqtari 33 years old.
Akeed Abdulghani Ibraheem 27 years old.
Mohammed Abduljabbar Al-Kholaidy 25 years old

Mass march in Taiz this evening after Taraweeh prayer.

country by country news updates below the fold

Eyes on Egypt and the Region produces a different series of diaries which provide background and analysis on the region in general and on individual countries. We hope those provide context for you as you read about current events. The published diaries in that series are:
Eyes on Egypt and the Region Background Resources

See the group stream for even more diaries.


We collect suggested readings for background reference materials in support of the Eyes on Egypt and the Region group. These may be non-fiction or fiction, general to the region or specific to a country or issue. If there are resources which you believe could aid our understanding of the events and processes we are witnessing, please either a) post a comment in the Liveblog with the title "Suggested reading:" and a brief description of the reading in the body of the comment, or b) send your suggestions via the dKos internal message to angry marmot.

Libyan Doctors for Hospitals in Libya is an impressive new aide organization launched by one of our own: StepLeftStepForward.


(country names in bold are updated from the previous diary.)

(h/t Dibsa 8/18)-Insight: Arab Spring raises hopes of rebirth for Mideast science

(Reuters) - Egyptian chemist Ahmed Zewail first proposed building a $2 billion science and technology institute in Cairo 12 years ago, just after he won a Nobel Prize. Then-President Hosni Mubarak promptly approved the plan and awarded Zewail the Order of the Nile, Egypt's highest honor. Within months, the cornerstone was laid in a southern Cairo suburb for a "science city" due to open in five years

(h/t Dibsa 8/9) - Algerian Islamists launch new party

Long-time Algerian Islamist Abdellah Djaballah recently created a new political party, shaking up the conservative political landscape

(h/t JustJennifer 8/23) - Bahrain sacks 2,500 state workers

About 2,500 state workers in Bahrain have been dismissed from their jobs for taking part in nation-wide protests against the ruling of Al-Khalifa dynasty. The sackings have affected a total of over 13,000 people in the tiny Persian Gulf sheikhdom.

(h/t Dibsa 8/17) - Bahrain unrest: Rights panel closes office after clash

An international commission probing the recent unrest in Bahrain has closed its doors after a crowd stormed its office in Manama and clashed with staff

(h/t Dibsa 8/17) - Interview: Abdulla Alderazi, Bahrain Human Rights Society

Shortly after pro-democracy demonstrators gathered in Pearl Roundabout in February, the government launched a violent crackdown and a campaign to “purify” Bahrain of dissenters. The process has included summary firings of workers who participated in the demonstrations or in a general strike, or were alleged to have done so. More than 2,400 people have lost their jobs in the last six months, many in recent days

(h/t JustJennifer 8/23) - Burkina jails police officers over student death

A Burkina Faso court sentenced three police officers on Tuesday to jail terms of 8-10 years for their role in the death of a student in police custody that helped touch off a wave of anti-government protests earlier this year.

(h/t Dibsa 8/19 ) - Ivory]] Coast's ex-president charged with theft

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — An official says Ivory Coast's former strongman has been charged with economic crimes including aggravated theft and embezzlement of public funds

(h/t Dibsa 8/18 ) - Ivory Coast reopens jail after political violence

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — An Ivory Coast official says the main prison in the West African country's largest city has reopened after it was closed months ago because of postelection violence and a mass prison break

(h/t Dibsa 6/22 ) - Djibouti Will Intensify Fight Against Poverty, Prime Minister Dileita Says

Djibouti’s government will intensify its fight against poverty, improve governance and implement renewable-energy projects to help spur economic growth, Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita said

(h/t JustJennifer 8/23) - Constitutional battle, take two

Less than two months after the dust settled on the last battle over the polarising issue of how Egypt's constitution should be drafted and the government, with the support of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), is raking the coals.

(h/t JustJennifer 8/23) - More civilians appear before military courts

On Tuesday Asmaa Mahfouz was referred by the military prosecutor for trial. Like many other political activists she will face a military court. The charge against her is insulting military commanders and inciting the public against the military council.

(h/t Dibsa 8/18) - Egypt: Military drops charges against 2 activists

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's ruling military council, which has been widely criticized for subjecting protesters to military tribunals, dropped charges Thursday against two activists who criticized its generals through social networking sites

(h/t Dibsa 8/17) - Iran's hard-liners seek payback in next election

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran's internal power struggles are shifting into election mode with hard-line political forces banding together to groom candidates for next year's parliamentary elections and punish allies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

(h/t Dibsa 8/9) - Iraqi MPs approve journalists’ rights law

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi parliament on Tuesday approved a law aimed at strengthening journalists’ rights in a country that tops the list of unsolved killings of members of the media

(h/t Dibsa 8/5) - Iraqi security forces harassing media: watchdog

Iraqi security forces are harassing journalists, especially television crews, media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Thursday, calling for such actions to stop.
"Reporters Without Borders is concerned about repeated harassment of media personnel, especial TV crews, by the Iraqi security forces," a statement said

(h/t Dibsa 8/16 ) - Just how expensive is it to live in Israel?

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- What began in Israel in June as a Facebook-driven rebellion against the rising cost of cottage cheese, then morphed in July into tent encampments protesting soaring real estate costs, has since turned into a full-scale Israeli social movement against the high cost of living in the Jewish state

(h/t Dibsa 8/16 ) - The Israeli Spring

Tel Aviv—Nine days ago, in the middle of Ibn Gevirol Street, on the corner of Shaul Hamelech, I saw D. We were separated by the hordes of people flooding the street on the way to the demonstration in Tel Aviv, and though I was close enough to recognize him, there was too much noise to hear exactly what he was shouting. From his lip movements, I could guess that it was “The people demand social justice.”

(h/t Dibsa 8/15) - Jordan's King Abdullah welcomes limited reform plans

King Abdullah of Jordan has said proposals for limited reform of the constitution are a sign of political maturity among Jordanians


(h/t Dibsa 6/27) - Kuwait arrests duo over Twitter comments

Kuwait will put two citizens on trial for criticising Gulf Arab ruling families on social media site Twitter, a security official said


(h/t Dibsa 8/9) - Syria solidarity rally held in Beirut

Hundreds of people have rallied in Beirut, Lebanon's capital, in solidarity with the Syrian people, as the Syrian government intensified its crackdown on protesters

(h/t JustJennifer 7/7)-Lebanon parliament backs cabinet as opposition boycotts

Lebanon's new government has won a parliamentary vote of confidence, after a heated debate over an international tribunal investigating the killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.


please note that because we're liveblogging Libya right now, we will put updates, along with some photo and video material, in the next liveblog diary this evening. Please continue to use the comments to liveblog the unfolding events there until we release the next diary. Thank you.


A vision of a democratic Libya an 8-point plan from the National Transitional Council

The full text of UN Resolution 1970 on Libya.

The full text of UN Resolution 1973 on Libya.

President Obama's letter to Congress regarding commencement of operations in Libya. (h/t greenbird)

Al Jazeera Libyan live blog. (h/t jnhobbs)

UK Telegraph Libyan live blog. (h/t bee tzu)

BBC Libyan live blog found here. (h/t greenbird)

The New Yorker Dispatches from Libya. (h/t suejazz)

BBC's Libyan crisis mapped. (h/t phil S 33)

revolutionology is a blog from an American in Benghazi


(h/t Dibsa 8/11) - Mauritania ALERT: Police brutalise anti-slavery campaigners

A group of anti-slavery campaigners in Mauritania protesting against a slavery case in the country were on August 4, 2011 violently dispersed by personnel of the Mauritanian Police Service

(h/t Dibsa 8/15 ) - Morocco picks early elections date

Morocco's government says it wants to hold early parliamentary elections in November, to follow through on a raft of constitutional reforms aimed at reducing the risk of an uprising


(h/t Dibsa 8/15) - Three newspaper staff charged in Oman court

MUSCAT — The Omani public prosecutor's office called on Sunday for the conviction of three local newspaper employees on charges of insulting the justice minister and called for their daily to be shut down


(h/t Dibsa 8/17 ) - Hamas releases detained Gaza activist

JERUSALEM (AP) — Hamas security officials released a prominent Gaza rights activist Tuesday, several days after he was repeatedly interrogated and detained over his participation in a French conference about Palestinian activism, his brother said

(h/t Dibsa 8/16) - Palestine needs a political solution, not aid

Part of the Israeli government's response to critics of its Gaza policy is to deny that there is a "humanitarian crisis" in the coastal territory. The implication being that participants in initiatives such as the flotilla are not concerned with "aid" but seek to cause a political "provocation". In a similar vein, recent news of the opening of a five star hotel in Gaza prompted Israel lobby group AIPAC to suggest that the flotilla's real aim was to "delegitimise Israel"


(h/t Dibsa 8/11) - Saudi Arabia's Counter-Revolution

Late at night on Sunday, August 7, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia delivered an unusual televised rebuke to Syria’s Bashar al-Asad calling on him to “stop the killing machine” and immediately begin reforms. The Saudi move against Damascus was only the latest twist in Riyadh’s newly energetic foreign policy

(h/t JustJennifer 8/23) - U.S. envoy visits Syria town, U.N. launches inquiry

The U.S. ambassador made a surprise trip to a southern Syrian town on Tuesday, his second visit to an area rocked by protests against President Bashar al-Assad and a move likely to antagonize the authorities in Damascus.

(h/t Dibsa 8/19) - 19]] killed as Syria cracks down on protest

Syrian forces killed at least 19 protesters as tens of thousands swarmed the streets after Friday prayers, activists said, a day after President Bashar al-Assad pledged that assaults on civilians had ended

(h/t Dibsa 8/18) - Traumatized Syrians Flee Government Crackdown

The Assad government's violent repression of a five-month-old popular uprising is sending thousands of Syrians into Turkey and Lebanon as refugees. Several hundred of them recently sought food and medical assistance at a mosque in northern Lebanon's Wadi Khaled region, a few kilometers from the Syrian border

(h/t Dibsa 8/18) - Obama calls on Syria’s Assad to “step aside”

President Barack Obama called on Syria's Bashar al-Assad to leave power Thursday, as the United States announced new sanctions on the Syrian regime, which is accused of killing some 2,000 people in six months of anti-government unrest

(h/t Dibsa 8/15) - Tunisia police use teargas to disperse protest

(Reuters) - Tunisian security forces used teargas and truncheons on Monday to disperse a crowd of protesters in the capital demanding the government step down for failing to prosecute supporters of the ousted president

(h/t Dibsa 8/12) - Tunisian court sentences 25 Ben Ali relatives to jail

TUNIS: A court sentenced 25 relatives of Tunisia's ousted leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to jail on Friday, most of whom were caught trying to flee with cash and jewels at the climax of January's revolution


(h/t ninkasi23 8/10) - The United (but not Equal) Arab Emirates

While Abu Dhabi is awash with cranes working around the clock to raise a post modern city from the sand, and the skyline of Dubai is exploding with glass towers, in the northern emirates what one sees is a developing-world landscape. In Ras Al Khaimah, many of the residential streets are lined with single-story homes with unsightly exterior air conditioning units, peeling paint and tin-roofed garages. From the highways of Sharjah, drab concrete apartment blocks appear the norm rather than the exception. [. . .]
Economic disparities can contribute to dangerous discontent, but the UAE has not experienced anything remotely close to feelings of injustice seen elsewhere in the region. However, “we are seeing proactive activity by the UAE federal government and Dubai to address economic imbalances,” Karasik said. While the investment in the north may be a continuation of previous policies, the UAE is announcing recent upgrades in “a very public way…to show signs of good will,” Karasik added. They are sending a signal that the UAE is united.


(h/t Dibsa 7/26) - Western Sahara talks end in impasse

The latest round of unofficial, UN-brokered Western Sahara negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario ended without agreement last week

(h/t Dibsa 7/25) - Western Sahara: Women Refugees Denounce Dictatorship, Corruption at Camps

MADRID / Association for the development of Saharawi Women, led by Salma Buha Mint Bubacar Lecuara, president of the association and Fatma Ahmed Essbiti, its secretary, held a conference on july 21, 2011 at The Emperor hotel in Madrid. Ana Camacho a senior journalist with El País intervened in support of the two speakers. Also attended the ceremony Mohamed Salem jaddou a member of the association

(h/t JustJennifer 8/23) - Yemen PM returns to Sanaa after treatment

Ali Mohammad Mujawer, Yemen's prime minister, has returned to Sanaa after spending more than two months in a hospital in Riyadh, following a bomb attack on the president's compound, state television said.

(h/t JustJennifer 8/23) - Yemen's opposition forms national council

Yemeni opposition groups have formed a national council to increase pressure on President Ali Abdullah Saleh to relinquish power.

(h/t Dibsa 8/16) - Yemeni president: 'See you soon in Sanaa'

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — President Ali Abdullah Saleh says he will return to Yemen soon and renewed his calls for early presidential elections

It bears repeating - Please Rec this diary.

Our Egyptian brethren articulated what people around the region are fighting for, though variations to the theme may exist from country to country. banner held by protesters and translated to English:

1 The departure of Mubarak

2 An end to the current Parliament

3 An end of the state of emergency

4 The creation of a national united government

5 A parliament elected by the people to modify the constitution and run the presidential elections

6 Put those responsible for the killings on trial

7 Put those responsible for stealing the country's money and other acts of corruption on trial

Will you help us gather updates?

Many hands make light work and we rely on teamwork for timely posting.

Here's how it works:

1. we invite you to join our wiki. (we'll need an email address from you)

2. you choose 1 or more countries you wish to gather citations for

3. go to the page of that country, click EDIT,

4. copy the mini template and fill in what the red text prompts

5. click SAVE

We're working on a publication schedule: Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday. Ideally we would see fresh citations in the wiki by late evening the day before. That is, posts from late Monday evening would be published in Tuesday morning's diary. (If you'd like produce a diary on a different day of the week, we'd love to show you how to update the template and paste it into your diary!)

It's really that simple! Please join us.


Note: The old Mothership Diary has good list of resources.

Al Jazeera English - Watch Live (the Youtube link below should work for Mac users unable to load this.)

Al Jazeera live also available on: Dish Network channel 9410 OR DirecTV Channel 375 Link

Al Jazeera on Facebook: - http:

Al Jazeera Live on YouTube

English Stream

Arabic Stream

BBC Middle East reporting

BBC Middle East and Arab Unrest

WorldWideTahrirWorldwide protests being organized to coincide with the upcoming ones in Egypt.

bicycle Hussein paladin - Why Iran 1979 Went to the Islamists and This One Won't

People to follow on twitter: - please suggest people for specific countries. Thank you!

@ArabRevolution - Region

@Dima_Khatib - Region

@March15Syria - Syria

@JNovak_Yemen - Yemen

@WomanfromYemen - Yemen

@Gheblawi - Libya

@ShababLibya - Libya

@feb17voices - Libya

@DrsForLibya - Libya

@libyanexpat - Libya

@lissnp - Iran

@prsianbanoo - Iran

@sandmonkey - Egypt

@JRamyRaoof - Egypt

@Elazul - Egypt

@Ssirgany - Egypt













@speaktotweet: Egyptian Voice Tweets on Twitter

Previous Child Diaries:

Egypt and the Region Liveblog Archive by unaspenser

NOTE: We renamed the original "Egypt Liveblog" to "Witnessing Revolution". From Egypt the pro-democracy fire spread rapidly. It's not clear that it will be limited by geography or ethnicity. So, we wanted a name which states what is happening yet allows us to grow with the movement, wherever that will be. The number sequence will be continuous. The group name will remain the same. Only this particular diary series within the group changed names.


Embeds can lead to problems for some of our users.

We all thank you for your consideration.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site