This week, we’d like to pay tribute to the courage of our Observers. Very often, they tell us about incidents that the authorities in their countries would much rather keep hidden – but these men and women take the risk of talking to us anyway. And thanks to these Observers, we’re able to you about events that might otherwise never have been covered.
Story 1: Sudan
Sudan is in the throes of a protest movement led by university students. They’re angry about the high cost of living - and about austerity measures being imposed by the government.
Our Observer in Khartoum is a blogger who would like to see Sudan be the next country to undergo a revolution.
Next up, a look at some of the best images sent in this week by our Observers.
Story 2: China
We head first to Wulanchabu, in China, with our Observer Sui. He alerted us to these images posted on a Chinese social network. They show the inside of an ice cream factory. The young woman who took these photos was doing an internship there. She was so shocked by the harsh working conditions – and the lack of hygiene – that she secretly snapped these pictures and posted them online. Her story caused such outrage that the dairy company running the factory promised to conduct a thorough review of its hygiene practices.
Story 3: Libya
Now on to an immigrant detention camp in Libya, with Genevieve Jacques, an activist from the International Federation of Human Rights.
After Muammar Gaddafi’s downfall, migrant workers living in Libya - most of whom hailed from Sub Saharan Africa - were confused with mercenaries for the former regime who were also black. Because of this, many migrant workers were targeted by former rebels.
Nine months after the fall of Tripoli, these immigrants’ troubles are far from over. Many of them can no longer renew their work permits, and have been placed in detention camps were they live in difficult conditions.
Genevieve visited several of these camps. She told us the immigrants and held in old warehouses, sometimes with nothing to sleep on – and that they are often beaten by their guards. Their situation seems like it won’t improve anytime soon: because most of these men worked in construction, in companies that shut down after the revolution, it seems they are no longer needed in Libya.
Story 4: Iran
Now on to the Sari Zoo in Iran, with our Observer Reza Javalchi. Reza told that for the past few months, the Sari zoo had made an attraction out of feeding live animals to its lions. In this video, filmed by a visitor to the zoo, the lion’s dinner is a live donkey. Reza found this practice disgusting, and tried to convince the zoo to stop. At first, the zoo’s director argued that lions killed animals every day in the wild. But Reza explained that in the wild, this took only minutes – while these captive lions had never hunted, and so they took over an hour to kill their prey. The zoo’s director in the end agreed to halt the live feedings, for the time being.
Story 5: USA
We end in the United Sates. The state of Colorado is experiencing its worst wildfires in decades. More than 35,000 hectares of land have gone up in smoke, and tens of thousands of people have had to evacuate their homes. Despite fire fighters’ round-the-clock efforts, several dozen houses have been lost to the flames…