The Observers

Looting in Bangui, DR Congo refugees return home, 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: Central African Republic

We begin today in the Central African Republic. The country, right in the heart of the continent, was taken over by rebels last month. Tensions in the capital Bangui remain high. Our Observer says people resent the rebels' heavy-handed behavior. They've been going house to house - supposedly to round up weapons. But that is not all they've been taking.


Story 2: DR Congo

Now we head south, to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The huge country has been engulfed in a series of complicated wars for much of the last two decades, especially in the east. Civilians have been at the mercy of armies, rebel groups, foreign fighters and locally based militias known as the Mai Mai. Millions of people fled their homes, but they've started moving back. Our Observer traveled deep into the equatorial forest, to meet the ones who have returned.


Story 3: World

First stop, the city of Marivan, in Iranian Kurdistan, near the Iraqi border, where local police came up with an unusual punishment for a criminal: dress him up as a woman, and parade him through the streets. Our Observer Hiwa tells us Marivan's women did not appreciate it. They put on red dresses too, and came out to chant that being a woman is nothing to be ashamed of. The indignation quickly spread via social networks to the rest of Iran, with men dressing up on Facebook to show their solidarity.

Now to Egypt, where citizens must carry state-issued identity cards that specify, among other things, their religion. A group of young people - Muslims and Christians - have started an online campaign encouraging people to cover the religion space with another message. Their point? That people's religious beliefs are a private matter, no one's business but their own. A pointed message at a time when Muslims and Christian Copts are frequently clashing in real time, on the streets.

Our last stop today, Romania, with a 5th division football match between Timisul Urseni and Politehnica Timisoara. One of the Timisul players is injured, but there's no stretcher - just a wheelbarrow, with a motor. The spectators go wild, and the player tries to salute them, only making things worse...

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