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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 9.45 am Paris time.

THE OBSERVERS

THE OBSERVERS

Latest update : 2012-02-17

Overcrowded Saudi prisons, outrage over Senegal president's third bid for office, 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: SAUDI ARABIA

We begin today with a story about prisons in Saudi Arabia, from an Observer who's spent time in them. As elsewhere, Saudi prisons are overcrowded. A recent video shows a prison in the port city of Jeddah. The prisoners are virtually wall to wall. Our Observer Hussein is an anti-government activist, who's been arrested for protesting several times, and imprisoned for as long as three months.

 

STORY 3: SENEGAL

Now to Senegal, where the country is gearing up for an election. President Abdoulaye Wade is running for a third term in office, even though the country's constitution in theory limits presidents to two terms. The constitutional court has backed Wade's position, angering many Senegalese, especially students. Our Observer Mandiaye Badji has been talking to them.

We'll have a special team of Observers covering the election at the end of the month. If you want to get involved, send us an email - the address is senegal@france24.com. We'll be putting up a special site: Senegal.france24.com.

 

STORY 3: WORLD

Now for our weekly roundup of the best images and stories sent in by our Observers.

First stop - Hama, in the north of Syria; where the walls have been covered in blood ... Fortunately, it's fake blood. Red paint has been poured on the walls and streets by the city's residents. It's their way of commemorating the terrible massacre that happened there 30 years ago, on the orders of Hafez al-Assad, the father of the current president. That was back in February 1982. Thousands of people were massacred by troops to end a Sunni uprising. The red paint is there as a reminder of 1982, but also of the current violence, taking place on the orders of the younger Assad, Bashar.

Now to Algeria, which has been suffering from the same cold snap that's gripped Europe. Our Observer Kadr lives in the mountainous Kabylia region, where up to 40 centimetres of snow cut off many villages. In his town, Kadr says, the problem is heating. People use butane gas, and they have to line up for it, in the cold. The same thing goes for food. The region's paralysed... We hope better weather is on the way.

Our last stop is on the Mexican-US border: the Great Wall of Mexico, 700 miles of steel and concrete built under a law signed by George Bush to keep illegal immigrants and drugs out of the US. But there are ways of getting around it - or under it.... Take a look at this video - a simple car jack is enough to raise a section of the fence, to let through a load of what's probably drugs. The best thing about the technique is that you can let the wall close again with no trace so you can come back again on another day.

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Archives

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