Videos recorded by Syrian soldiers illustrate the brutality of the repression. Ukrainian web users condemn web censorship in the country. And National Geographic uploads declassified photos of Nevada’s “Area 51”.
Syrian soldiers record trophy videos of dead protesters
These images, which have been put to music, show heavily armed men chatting and smiling, next to two dead bodies. Syrian opposition members uploaded this video clip to social networks on Monday; it is thought to have been produced by a militia loyal to president Bashar al-Assad as a trophy video. Numerous video apparently filmed by members of the security forces have emerged on the web in recent weeks.
This video of the mass arrests in the village of Baida was broadcast in April and widely relayed online. It was notably used to denounce the brutality of the repression.
With official state media claiming the scene took place in Iraq and not in Syria, one of the prisoners, Syrian identity card in hand, gave a conflicting account in this video, filmed in the same place several days later.
This footage is thought to have been filmed by soldiers on the roof of a mosque in Deraa at the end of April. It appears to show armed men in uniform gathered around several corpses, discussing how they are going to stage the video. One of them seems to be placing cartridges among the dead bodies that according to State television were members of armed gangs which had clashed with security forces. This version was immediately refuted by activists who believe the bodies belong to citizens who were killed after trying to stock up on food supplies for protesters in the opposition stronghold of Deraa, as the city was under siege from the army.
Web censorship in Ukraine
Has Mykola Sukhomlyn, one of Ukraine’s most influential web users, become a victim of the government imposed web censorship in the country? Ever since the cyber activist’s Facebook account was closed down by the social network administrators on the 1st of June, this has been the question on the lips of local web users.
Mykola Sukhomlyn thinks it’s related to this video, which criticizes the lifestyle of certain politicians, that he posted on his Facebook page. The images show governor of Donetsk region, Anatoly Blyzniuk, getting out of a saloon car worth over 60 000 euros. The video has since been widely relayed by the online media. The cyber activist reportedly received threats after making these revelations, and was asked to stop his online activity immediately.
Despite the threats Sukhomlyn tried to set up a new account on the social network, but it was rapidly deleted prompting many of the nation’s web users to lend their support. This Facebook page has been set up, with members demanding the government put an end to the censorship they deem unacceptable.
This is not the first time the network has been censored in Ukraine. Last month, upon the authorities’ request, Facebook administrators removed the page belonging to women’s rights group FEMEN, known for their hard hitting actions and topless activists. The reason given by the authorities: these activists give the country a bad image on the web.
Ukrainian web users are concerned about this situation and are taking action. This group is appealing to the government to respect the rights of cyber activists in Ukraine and now has hundreds of members ready to fight for the freedom, they feel the Internet represents.
Declassified Area 51 photos
National Geographic recently uploaded these photographs from 1963 to its web site. They were taken at the height of the Cold War after an American spy plane prototype crashed in the famous “area 51” in the Nevada desert. The CIA recently declassified these photos which notably show the wreckage of the plane and the top secret operations to retrieve the debris. These documents will no doubt keep the mystery alive and fuel rumours about US government activity in this protected zone, the government has never officially confirmed that Area 51 exists.
Yoocasa, a social network for families
A virtual place where all the family can get together, communicate and have fun. Set up a year ago by a young father, Yoocasa is a social network which provides interactive activities, like colouring in, for all the family no matter how far apart they are. The social network is more suitable for children and more secure, as every new member has to be approved by the parents.
Video of the day
This video clip reveals all the tricks of the trade for creating a realistic war scene, crammed with computer generated special effects. This ‘making of’ video was produced by Platige Image in collaboration with Polish film director Pawel Borowski, and will perhaps inspire many of the web’s budding film makers.