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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 : 2013-04-01

Muslims attacked in Burma, prisoners beaten at Abu Ghraib, 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: Burma

We begin today with monks and machetes. Those two things don't normally go together, but there's been a recent flaring of violence in Burma against the country's small population of Muslims - and armed Buddhist monks have been seen patrolling the affected areas, looking on as Muslims' properties burn to the ground. More than 40 people have been reported killed in the central city of Meiktila - most of them Muslims - after an incident in a Muslim-owned store. Our Observer U Kyaw Min is a Muslim politician based in Rangoon.

 

Story 2: Iraq

Now to Iraq, and a report from one of the most infamous prisons in the world. It's now called "Baghdad Central Prison", but you probably know it by its old name, Abu Ghraib. It was a feared torture center under Saddam Hussein, and then of course became the center of outrage after US soldiers photographed Iraqi prisoners in humiliating poses. The prison was reopened in 2009 by the Iraqi authorities, but new videos emerged this month suggesting it is still a center of abuse. Our Observer Mustapha is a human rights campaigner in Baghdad.

 

Story 3: World

Now for our weekly roundup of other reports and images sent in by our Obervers.

First stop, the Democratic Republic of Congo, with our Observer James Norbert. These pictures come from the south of the country, in the mineral-rich Katanga province. A group of armed separatists marched into the provincial capital Lubumbashi, and were violently dispersed by the army, leaving several of them dead. The separatists want to see more of the wealth from the area's cobalt and copper mines come back to the people who live there.

Now to the Tongkyap Monastery in northeastern Tibet, and a report from our Observer, a former monk. The monastery has been sealed off by the Chinese authorities since mid-March. The reason? One of the monks dared to publish a book about the self-immolations of the Tibetans who set themselves on fire to protest against Chinese rule. The authorities are not letting anyone in or out of the complex, and Tibetan groups say the monks are undergoing quote "reeducation".

Now to the other side of the country: Shanghai. There are tensions between the local residents of Yongkang Road and the expats who come there to drink at the hip bars and cafés, and stand outside smoking and yelling, late into the night. The locals have resorted to throwing buckets of water. Our Observer Alexandre owns six businesses on the street. He, however, has managed to appease the locals by closing early and paying them to move - or to put up with the noise.

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