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A show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from our Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris. Saturday at 10.15 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2012-01-11

A cameraman is killed in Syria, a principal beats students with help from soldiers in Ivory Coast, and more...

This show is made up entirely of amateur images. We've seen time and time again how images captured by ordinary citizens then uploaded onto the Web can change history, or at least shift the balance of power. This week, we take a look back at some of those moments.


We begin once again today in Syria. As you know, Bashar al Assad's government does not allow foreign journalists to cover the unrest. So we have to depend on videos filmed  by brave local cameramen - amateurs who risk their lives day after day to film what's going on, and put it on YouTube. On the last day of the year, the danger finally caught up to one of these citizen journalists. We have the story from Omar, one of our Observers in Homs.


Next up: Ivory Coast. It's been months now since the dangerous standoff between rival presidents Alassane Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo. But the rebel soldiers who helped Ouattara prevail are still in the streets of Abidjan - with their guns. It's a source of tension, even inside the city's schools.

Our Observer is a concerned parent in the Marcory district.

We contacted the principal shown in the video. He admitted beating the students with a hose. He said they deserved it, because the firecrackers had caused chaos in his school. He said the students' parents had given him the OK to punish their children.



Next, our weekly roundup of the best images and stories sent in by our Observers.

First up, a video from Paktika province in Afghanistan, courtesy of our Observer Nasim. The pictures are chilling: these children are armed with Kalashnikovs and rocket-propelled grenades. But Nasim explains that it's really just propaganda. He says the Afghan Taliban regularly post videos like this on the Internet, and that the children are probably not real child soldiers. It's a "mise en scene", staged by the Taliban's media arm. The idea, Nasim says, is to spread fear and give the world the impression that every Afghan - man, woman, and child - is ready to fight the foreign occupation.

We finish in China, with a story from our Observer Sui. It began with this photograph, posted by a young Chinese woman who apparently wanted to show off her wonderful, prosperous life. In the caption she says she earns 300,000 euros a year and drives a BMW. That set off a slew of similar postings by other members of China's elite - displaying their luxury watches and wads of cash. In a country that's still getting used to the idea of rich and poor, this did not go down well. Web users started posting parodies of the showoff photos. Here are some examples Sui sent us.



2017-01-14 Burma

Burmese policemen abuse Rohingya in a video, and a Malian is deported from France in handcuffs

A video emerged of Rohingya attacked by Burmese policemen, a Malian was handcuffed on a plane and deported from France, and a controversial new song hit the airwaves in Saudi...

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2016-12-31 Afghanistan

The Best Of 2016 at The Observers

For our last show of 2016, we look back at our favourite Observers from the year. A weekly news show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from France 24 Observers...

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2016-12-27 Burkina Faso

Round-up of migrants in Algeria, and militias in Burkina Faso replace police in crackdown on crime

Random, mass arrests of migrants have been taking place in Algeria; militias in Burkina Faso are replacing the role of police and imposing their own form of justice; and male...

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2016-12-10 Botswana

Painting eyes on cows' behinds and the group of young women fighting harassment in Mexico

A biologist has a funny idea for stopping lions from attacking herds of cows in Botswana, a group of young women walk through the streets of Mexico City armed with a GoPro to...

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2016-11-26 Greece

A racist attack in South Africa is exploited by political parties, and migrants describe the appalling conditions of camps in Greece

A weekly news show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from France 24 Observers around the world - all checked by our staff here in Paris.

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