The Observers

Freedom of expression in Libya and brutal detention videos in Syria

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 in Libya. For more than 40 years, libyans lived under colonel gaddafi’s rule. During his dictatorship, people felt like their every move was being watched. But now that Tripoli has fallen, the capital’s residents can once again express themselves freely. Our Observer has spent every day of his newfound freedom roaming the streets with his video camera, filming people finally saying whatever they want to whomever they want. We head to Tripoli with Tariq Elmeri


In this show, we’ve often talked about the importance of amateur video for following the protests in Syria. Usually , these videos are filmed by activists. But for several weeks now, we’ve been seeing more and more videos of prisoners being tortured and humiliated by Syria’s security forces. They’re filmed very close up, which seems to indicate they were filmed by security forces themselves. So we wondered, how and why are these videos showing up on YouTube? We go to the city of Homs in Syria, with our Observer Waleed Fares.

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