The Observers

Rare protests in Vietnam, Christians arrested in Libya, 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: Libya

We begin today in Libya, with its small minority of Coptic Christians. There are around 50,000 of them - about 1 percent of the population. The Christians are feeling increasingly isolated in a country that is overwhelmingly Muslim. That's because they've become a target for the extremist Muslim groups that have spread since the fall of Moammar Gaddafi. At the end of last month, an Islamist militia in the city of Benghazi rounded up dozens of Christians, accusing them of trying to convert Muslims. Our Observer Mina explains.


Story 2: Vietnam

Now to Vietnam. Protests in the Communist country are rare, and large protests even rarer. But that is just what happened in the northern town of Vinh Yen at the funeral of 27-year-old Nguyen Tuan Anh. He had been found dead in mysterious circumstances. The authorities said he drowned, but his family believed it was related to a fight with a relative of a local Communist Party boss. Our Observer is an activist based in Paris.


Story 3: World

Now for our weekly roundup of images and information sent in by our Observers.

First stop Abidjan, in Ivory Coast. Police there have been cracking down, rounding up suspects in a wave of mass arrests. The only thing is, it's not clear why. Our Observer Wilfried was walking home one day, when he - and several hundred other people - were scooped up in one of the arrests. He spent 48 hours at the police station with no food, no drink, and no access to a lawyer. When he asked for an explanation, he was told "We're having a roundup". The interior minister says the arrests are to promote law and order, but hasn't been specific.

Now to the Pacific, the island nation of Fiji, and a tip from our Observer, Methodist minister Akuila Yabaki. These videos - apparently shot on mobile phones - show prisoners being abused by men in civilian clothing. Reverend Yabaki believes they were most likely police or soldiers in plain clothes. The authorities have launched an investigation, but he doesn't think they'll investigate too hard.

Last stop China, where a proud father who wants his son to go far: to the famous Shaolin Temple... to become a master of Kung Fu. The training started when the boy was just eight months old; too young, say Chinese Web users. On the video site Youku, the 'dislikes' outnumber the 'likes' two to one.

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