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THE OBSERVERS

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 : 2012-01-18

First-ever video proof documenting murder of suspected Gbagbo militants, 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.

STORY 1: IVORY COAST

We begin this week in Ivory Coast, with new evidence of atrocities committed during the country's deadly presidential standoff. The former president, Laurent Gbagbo - who lost the election - is currently on trial for war crimes at the Hague. His troops stand accused of targeting civilians. However the court has also promised to investigate alleged abuses by the other side - the winners, the forces who fought successfully to install Alassane Ouattara as president. A new video has now emerged that was shot in March last year, just after a pro-Ouattara militia took over the Abobo section of Abidjan. We were able to track down eyewitnesses, who explained what happened.


The video shows young men who have just been arrested at a roadblock. They were searched, and one of them had a notebook on him. It contained photos showing them wearing the uniforms of a pro-Gbagbo militia. You can hear the crowd accusing them of supporting the former president. The three men beg to be let go, but things get out of hand.


On another video, you see the crowd lose control and beat the men.
It all happens very quickly. Witnesses told us that the three men were already dead when people poured petrol on them and set their bodies on fire.


We've seen other horrific videos shot during the crisis - this one shows suspected Ouattara supporters being burned in the pro-Gbagbo neighborhood Yopougon.
But this new video marks the first time we've been able to authenticate documentation of atrocities being committed against Gbabgbo supporters.


Our contacts in Abobo tell us this was not the only incident of its kind, and that there were several mob killings after the pro-Ouattara Invisible Commandos took over in their neighbourhood. If you're watching from Ivory Coast, and you have any images documenting atrocities by either side, please get in touch with us on the Observers website.

 

STORY 2: SYRIA


Now to Syria, and an activist who has become famous on the web. He started out by tweeting from the capital Damascus - and talking to the foreign media. But when the secret police figured out his identity and his address, he fled to Cairo with his family. Known to the world as 'AlexanderPage', he's now using his own name, Rami Jarah.

 


STORY 3: BAHRAIN


We finish with another story from the Arab spring... one that seldom makes international headlines - the protests in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Shiite Muslims continue to demonstrate against the kingdom's ruling family, who are Sunni. The story from our Observer, Anmar.

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