What began as peaceful protests demanding that human rights lawyer Fathi Turbel be released from prison on February 15 is now a full-fledged revolution. While a ban on foreign journalists in Libya makes it difficult to get a clear picture of the events on the ground, one thing is certain: the Libyan government is using violence to control protestors and shows no fear of continuing to do so. Human rights organizations estimate that 600-2000 people have been killed, including civilians attacked by government air strikes, since the protests began. Gaddafi maintains control of the capital Tripoli in the west, but protestors have essentially claimed the eastern half of the country, including the large city Benghazi. Numerous high-level Libyan officials and significant portions of the army have defected, reportedly because of Gaddafi’s commands to attack civilians.
Learn how to take action here: http://standnow.org/blog/Libya
Take a look at these articles to learn more about the situation on the ground in Libya:
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12548520 – UN Security Council condemns Gaddafi’s violations of human rights.
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/24/libya-international-response-gathers-pace – International leaders discuss plans of action on Libya while Gaddafi blames Osama bin Laden for the uprising.
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/21/libya-protests-bloodiest-yet-gaddafi – Protests continue while Muammar Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam pledge to fight the uprising at all costs.
- http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hixeD2CcQsRv8wDiWvZiuff8uHMQ?docId=0281345d1dfa4f73b08ac74d443cd346 A look inside Libya’s first “free” city, Benghazi.
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/23/inside-libya-banghazi-jubilation – Protestors begin to build a new order in Benghazi.
- http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/02/201122412934486492.html – Provides great context and background information, including discussion of what could happen next.
- http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/spotlight/libya/ This Al-Jazeera English page on Libya features articles covering all aspects of the situation. It also links to its live blog that provides continuous updates as they occur.
These articles elaborate on the actions that the international community must take because of its Responsibility to Protect the Libyan people.
- http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2011/02/23/Applying-R2P-to-Libya.aspx A specific call for the application of R2P to the situation in Libya.
- http://lynch.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/02/21/the_libyan_horror Compares Libya to past situations in Bosnia and Kosovo and calls on international leaders to take action to end the violence.
- http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/media-releases/2011/immediate-international-steps-needed-to-stop-atrocities-in-libya.aspx International Crisis Group recommends immediate international action to stop atrocities.
- http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/02/23/president-obama-speaks-turmoil-libya-violence-must-stop?utm_source=022411&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=daily President Obama condemns the violence in Libya and voices US support for the Libyan peoples’ struggle for freedom.