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« on: February 25, 2011, 10:57:30 am »

Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi (Arabic: معمر القذافي‎ Muʿammar al-Qaḏḏāfī About this sound audio  [the last name is also transliterated as Kaddafi, Kadhafi, Gadhafi, Qadhafi etc.], also known as Colonel Gaddafi; born 7 June 1942) has been the leader of Libya since a coup in 1969.

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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2011, 11:07:25 am »

Gaddafi's house

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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2011, 11:14:20 am »

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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2011, 11:25:43 am »

Soog al jum'a district of Tripoli -
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2011, 12:03:30 pm »

Green square

« Last Edit: February 25, 2011, 12:13:59 pm by admin » Report Spam   Report to moderator   Logged
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2011, 12:06:58 pm »

Mapping Violence Against Pro-Democracy Protests in Libya

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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2011, 12:19:43 pm »


Libya Unrest 24/02/11 A boy used his mobile phone to capture the wreckage of a room in Gaddafi’s palace in Benghazi, now out of the reach of forces loyal to the president. Photograph: Michael Graae/LNP

Muammar Gaddafi's forces have launched counterattacks to defend Tripoli and western Libya against the popular uprising now consolidating its hold on the "liberated" east of the country and advancing into loyalist territory.

Heavy fighting was reported from the important town of al-Zawiya, 35 miles west of the capital, yesterday while armoured units commanded by Gaddafi's son Khamis and other loyalist forces deployed eastwards along the coastal road towards Misurata, the country's third largest city and a major port, said to be in the hands of rebels equipped with heavy weapons.

Information remained fragmentary, confused and sometimes contradictory, but the Libyan leader appeared rattled by the challenge from al-Zawiya, which had a reputation as a patriotic stronghold until anti-regime protests erupted and an army unit joined in last weekend.

Reports from the scene described how soldiers opened fire with automatic weapons and anti-aircraft guns, hitting a mosque. The Quryna newspaper said 23 people had been killed and 44 injured. Al-Jazeera TV reported 100 dead.

Gaddafi singled out al-Zawiya in another rambling speech – by telephone to state TV – in which he attacked "rats and hired agents of foreign intelligence" and youngsters on drugs whose parents needed to take them home and off the streets. "May God curse them," he said. "Bin Laden must be happy," he added, again arguing that al-Qaida and Islamists were poised to take over the country.

Anti-Gaddafi forces were also reported to have taken over Zuwara, further west towards the Tunisian border, after army units sided with them and police fled.

Crucially, however, Tripoli itself was reported to be quiet but very tense, and apparently under government control, though there have been calls for protests on Fridaytoday.

The authorities were apparently preparing for the arrival of a group of foreign journalists invited by the regime to try to create an impression of normality. But the move appeared to have backfired when one of the group, an Italian correspondent, was kicked and punched by a militiaman at a checkpoint on his way into the city.

Fabrizio Caccia of the daily Corriere della Sera was assaulted after producing his Italian passport. "Fabrizio was trying to show them he had a visa. He told me he was punched in the ear and kicked on the hand," said the head of the paper's Rome bureau, Marco Cianca, who spoke to the reporter after he reached a hotel in the city. The nine Italian journalists flew into Tripoli airport to find there was no one there to collect them, Cianca said.

There were clear signs of attempts to clean up the city after the protests. Medical sources reported that the corpses of those killed in recent days and injured patients were removed from the Tripoli Medical Centre and another hospital. Witnesses reported that they were taken to Mitiga military airport. "They are trying to hide the evidence and cleaning up the streets and telling people to go to work," said one man. "But from dusk onwards it's a ghost town."

Gaddafi had been thought to be in his residential compound at Bab al-Aziziya, protected by revolutionary guard units, but his telephone interview with the TV suggested he might now be elsewhere.

Residents said uniformed police were directing traffic as usual, state TV was broadcasting and Gaddafi supporters held a rally in the city. But there were also accounts of police and soldiers vanishing and armed protesters patrolling towns close to the capital.

With Benghazi and the east apparently now out of its reach, analysts said the key locations the regime must now defend and hold were Tripoli itself, Gaddafi's home town and region of Sirte, midway along the Mediterranean coast between Benghazi and Tripoli, and two oil terminals.

Confusion surrounded the whereabouts and activities of a key regime loyalist, the leader's cousin Ahmed Gadaffdam, a trusted aide who had been in Egypt but was reported to have gone to Syria where opposition sources suggested he was seeking help to crush the rebels with air power. If he had defected it would be a grave blow. But Libyans said this was unlikely for a man described as "a partner in Gaddafi's crimes".

The most significant regime defection so far has been that of Gaddafi's interior minister, Abdel-Fatah Younis al-Obeidi, now said to be helping co-ordinate the eastern rebellion from the Benghazi area. Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the former minister of justice, claimed that Gaddafi and his sons would use biological and chemical weapons if they were desperate. "He will burn everything," Abdul-Jalil told al-Jazeera.

Gaddafi was supposed to have surrendered his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction as part of his rapprochement with the west after the Iraq war in 2003.

Libya's ambassador to Jordan joined the ranks of diplomats around the world who have now broken with the regime, if not joined the opposition. Mohammed Hassan Barghathi denounced "the bloody clashes in my country … as unbelievable, unimaginable and unjustifiable".

Behind the scenes, according to Libyan and Arab sources, intensive efforts are under way to persuade key tribes to throw in their lot with the uprising, perhaps with the help of funding from Saudi Arabia, whose conservative monarchy has long loathed Gaddafi. In the west an important tribe called the Warfalla live on both sides of the border with Tunisia and the Oulad Ali live in Libya and Egypt.

Tribal leaders and politicians met in al-Bayda in the east to demonstrate a united front against Gaddafi in one of the first signs of organisation by the opposition.

TV pictures showed delegates giving speeches in a conference hall amid loud chants against Gaddafi. Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam attacked what he called a "conspiracy by our Arab brothers", hinting at intervention in Libya's internal affairs.
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2011, 01:04:31 pm »


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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2011, 01:24:42 pm »

Colonel Gaddafi: ''We will fight those who are against us''
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Mid-East Unrest


Anti-government protesters in Tripoli have come under heavy gunfire, latest reports from the Libyan capital say.

Protests in the city resumed as those seeking the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi emerged from mosques following Friday prayers.

There are reports of deaths and injuries, but no reliable information about casualties.

Meanwhile, state TV has shown pictures of Colonel Gaddafi addressing a large crowd in Tripoli's Green Square.

He was shown speaking from the old city ramparts and urging the crowd to arm themselves and defend the nation and its oil against anti-government protesters who have taken control of large parts of the country.
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“Start Quote

    Life without dignity has no value, life without green flags has no value”

End Quote Col Muammar Gaddafi Libyan leader

"This is the people that brought Italy to its knees," he said, referring to the overthrow of Libya's colonial rulers. "I am amid the masses, and we shall fight, and we shall defeat them.

"We shall destroy any aggression with popular will. With the armed people, when necessary we will open the weapons depots. So that all the Libyan people, all the Libyan tribes can be armed. Libya will become a red flame, a burning coal."

As his supporters waved green flags, the symbol of Col Gaddafi's rule, he said: "Life without dignity has no value, life without green flags has no value. Sing, dance and prepare yourselves."

Later, at a hastily organised news conference at the United Nations in New York, Libyan deputy ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi described Col Gaddafi, who has been in power for 42 years, as a "madman" and warned that thousands would die in Tripoli because the Libyan leader would never flee, and would fight to the end.

He urged all Libyan diplomats across the world to renounce the regime and make it clear that they represented the people, not Col Gaddafi, and called on African states not to send soldiers or aid to his government.

Earlier, state TV said the government would give each family 500 dinars (£250; $400) to cover increased food costs, while some public sector workers would receive a pay rise of 150%.

However, much of Libya is now in the hands of anti-government forces, and the UN World Food Programme says Libya's food supply chain is at risk of collapse because imports have not been getting into the country and food distribution is hampered by violence.

Fighting has raged for the past week outside the capital between anti-government forces and pro-Gaddafi troops and militiamen. The UN has said reports from Libya indicate thousands may have been killed or injured.
'City is closed'

In the capital on Friday, witnesses reported that protesters streamed out of a mosque in central Tripoli after the end of prayers at lunchtime.

They were confronted by a force of troops and militiamen who opened fire on them in the Suq al-Jumaa area as they headed towards Green Square. Snipers on rooftops are also said to have fired on the marchers.

Reports of anti-government protesters being fired on have also come from other areas of the capital including Fashloom, Janzour and Zawlyat al-Dahmani.

"Many people are being killed right now in Tripoli, I just got a few phone calls from friends who witnessed people going out of mosques being shot at," one Tripoli resident told the BBC.

"I am very scared to leave the house. I was planning to visit my parents, but they called me and told me not to go out because there's heavy security on the main roads, stopping cars for checks.

"We haven't left the house for six days, apart from going out to buy bread. The city is completely closed."

Outside Tripoli, reports say attempts by pro-Gaddafi forces to take back territory in the cities of Zawiya and Misrata have been repulsed.

However, an elite brigade commanded by Col Gaddafi's son Khamis is believed to be dug in around the capital.
'Appalling and unacceptable'

Evacuations of foreign nationals from Libya by sea continued on Friday, although rough weather hampered the operations.
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2011, 02:11:53 pm »

Doctors without Borders (MSF) say that additional MSF teams with medical supplies are being blocked from entering #Libya.
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2011, 06:23:44 pm »

Editor: Bruce Maddy-Weitzman February 9, 2010
Qaddafi and his Nuclear Program: Second
Yehudit Ronen
A political cartoon entitled “The West Threatens to Step Up Sanctions on Iran”
appeared recently in a Kuwaiti newspaper. It depicted Iranian president
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tied down to a bed by flimsy ropes while a strong
Western or American hand tickles the soles of his feet with a soft feather,
causing him to laugh hysterically.
How might Libyan leader Mu`ammar al-Qaddafi react to this cartoon? What
memories and associations have been provoked in Tripoli by the issue of
sanctions on Iran? How does Qaddafi assess the strategic and political
outcomes of his renunciation of Libya’s clandestine nuclear weapons program
in 2003, an exceptional case in the annals of the global nuclear order? Does he
regret his action? Would he act differently today, particularly against the
backdrop of Iran’s determined drive to advance its nuclear program and the
weak Western efforts to inhibit it? More importantly, is Qaddafi at all
contemplating the possibility of a renewal of his own program in line with his
repeatedly declared principle of “the right of any state to acquire a nuclear
program for civilian goals?” Or are these statements merely a tactic to persuade
the US to supply Libya with advanced weaponry and civilian nuclear
technology, as Libya claims to have been promised in return for agreeing to
abandon its WMD program?
Libya’s surprising decision to dismantle its WMD program, including the
nuclear component, was announced on December 19, 2003. It came on the eve
of the 15th anniversary of the explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie,
Scotland, and four years after the suspension of crippling UN Security Council
sanctions on Tripoli, following the handing over of two Libyan intelligence
officials for trial before a special Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands. In
retrospect, the decision had considerable logic. Seven years of Libyan
diplomatic and economic isolation from the international community had taken
its toll on the country: growing socio-economic grievances, which generated
political resentment and resulted in the emergence of a dangerous radical
Islamic opposition, threatened the regime’s survival. Moreover, Qaddafi had
extracted whatever possible political gain from his unceasing religio-nationalist
confrontation with “evil Western imperialism”. Hence, the time was now ripe
for Tripoli’s engagement in a direct dialogue with Washington and London.
With the passage of time and following the end of the Lockerbie crisis and the
ultimate cancellation of the UN sanctions, their triangular dialogue eventually
resulted in the Libyan decision to renounce its WMD program. This dramatic
act caught much of the international community by surprise on several counts.
Not only had Libya surprised the international community by dismantling its
clandestine program, it had also demonstrated its capacity to acquire advanced
nuclear technology and materials, including centrifuges for enriching uranium,
notwithstanding seven years of tough sanctions and international isolation.
At the time, Qaddafi portrayed the renunciation as a “win-win deal” and a
“courageous” step towards building “a green, peaceful and stable planet.”
Moreover, he called on Syria, Iran and North Korea to follow in Tripoli’s
footsteps. His prime minister at the time, economist and prominent reformist
Shukri Ghanem, even described Libya’s action in terms of the Prophet Isaiah’s
vision of the End of Days, “the turning of our swords into ploughshares.”
Obviously, Qaddafi and his son and heir apparent Saif al-Islam expected to
reap substantial and prompt rewards for what they regarded as their country’s
huge political and military sacrifice.
Six years later, however, on the eve of a January 2010 visit by Iran’s Foreign
Minister Manouchehr Mottaki to Tripoli, Libya’s ambassador to Tehran found
the moment appropriate to declare that “Libya has not frozen its nuclear
program.” Yet, in the same breath, Tripoli clarified that it had no intention of
developing nuclear weapons. Still, the ambassador’s statement, obviously made
with the approval of his superiors, indicated Tripoli’s accumulating frustration
and even rage over what it views as the West’s flagrant failure to reward Libya
for having sacrificed its clandestine program. Qaddafi publicly vented his
feelings on a number of occasions, including one in which he professed the
right of a future Palestinian state to be militarized. In another statement, he
objected to the possibility of any military action being taken against Iran,
apparently having in mind the still traumatic American air attack on Libya in
While expressing disappointment and a sense of betrayal by the West, and in
particular the US, for what he perceives to be a breach of their commitment to
Libya, Qaddafi has remained careful not to relapse into a confrontation mode.
Attempting to exert pressure on Washington, even while further rebuking it, the
Libyan leader revealed to a Western interviewer that he had appealed to Iran
and North Korea, at America’s request, to halt their nuclear weapons programs,
but had been rebuffed with a counter-question: “What had Libya earned from
its renunciation deal?” In other words, in Qaddafi’s view, the deal with the
West had not been fully implemented. Qaddafi made the point even more
explicitly to another Western media outlet, declaring that Libya “did not
receive any reward from the world”.
While still hoping to be rewarded according to his expectations, and having
been strengthened by his country’s flourishing economy, internal political
stability and the important inputs of his son into the handling of Libya’s
domestic and foreign affairs, Qaddafi has become increasingly vocal in
challenging Western efforts to block Iran’s nuclear program. As Tehran
continues to proceed with its efforts, Libya, as well as other countries in the
Middle East and beyond, are watching and apparently drawing conclusions.
Libya’s Defense Minister, General Abu Bakr Yunis, recently visited Moscow,
where he purchased nearly $2 billion worth of Russian arms and military
equipement. Although no details were given, and although no formal reference
was made regarding the newly-established military cooperation between Libya
and Russia, Tripoli’s wish to acquire nuclear technology gives room to assume
that the subject was high on the agenda of their bilateral discussions..
With Iran striding towards acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, one may
assume that other Middle Eastern states are likely to follow suit. This, in turn,
might turn the Middle East into a poly-nuclear region. Is Libya going to give
life to its long-standing insistence that all states, including the Arab ones, may
legitimately possess nuclear weapons?
TEL AVIV NOTES is published with the support of the V. Sorell Foundation
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2011, 06:53:48 pm »

Izzat Almegaryaf

Atlanta (CNN) -- One afternoon this week, Ahmed Almegaryaf, a college student and part-time DJ in suburban Atlanta made the rounds to a local music joint in his gray Nissan Altima.

Amid six lanes of traffic on the interstate, it was not difficult to see the oversize sticker plastered on his rear window: "Where is my father?"

It's a question that has haunted Ahmed, 26, and his two brothers all of their lives.

Their father, a Libyan opposition activist, "disappeared" 20 years ago. The sons of Izzat Almegaryaf don't know where he is -- or whether he is still alive.

All that they know is derived from a handful of letters smuggled out of a Tripoli jail in the mid-1990s. For two decades, they've been left to ponder the grim possibilities of what happens to a man who opposes a dictator as ruthless as Moammar Gadhafi.

Now, a popular revolt in Libya has presented new hope for the Almegaryaf brothers. Gadhafi has vowed rivers of blood to preserve his power. But for the first time since he seized Libya's helm in 1969, his fate seems uncertain.

As images and reports from Libya flooded the brothers' television and computer screens this week, Ahmed, Youcif and Bashir could think of nothing except their father. And the possibility that at last, they might find answers to the question that has defined their lives.

Youcif, 27, remembers the day his father was taken away, and could hardly watch footage of Gadhafi's crackdown on protesters. This was the man he believes is responsible for destroying his own family. How could he simply watch from afar?

He said his goodbyes to Ahmed and Bashir, busy studying economics and international relations at Emory University. Now 21, Bashir has chosen to study subjects that were dear to the father he has never known.

Youcif made his way to the Atlanta airport Tuesday evening to board a flight to Cairo, Egypt, compelled to help in any way he could. For now, he plans to shuttle medical aid into eastern Libya.

The Almegaryaf family believes the Libyan people will prevail. They believe Gadhafi is in his last hours, desperation oozing from his words and actions.

With that prospect, improbable for so long, the three brothers know only this: They are perhaps on the verge of finally knowing many truths about their nation -- and about their father.

'Daddy, I want to go with you'

On a March evening 20 years ago, a man wearing a traditional Arab disdasha appeared at the apartment in Cairo that the three young Almegaryaf brothers shared with their parents.

Izzat Almegaryaf had fled Gadhafi's Libya several years earlier, but he had never surrendered his dreams of freedom.

The man in the disdasha demanded that Izzat go with him.

"Daddy, I want to go with you," pleaded Youcif, then only 6. His father did not turn back.

Plucked from his home and blindfolded, Izzat was put on a jet to Tripoli, the capital of his homeland, and thrown behind bars in one of Gadhafi's jails.

No one informed his family of the charges against him. No one told them of his whereabouts.

Gadhafi had called for a "physical liquidation" of his political opponents, many of whom were arrested and put to death in public executions, according to Amnesty International.

Izzat Almegaryaf was one of Gadhafi's targets.

On that March evening, a family's life was shattered. A husband, disappeared. A wife, Nora, suddenly alone. And three little boys left fatherless.

Youcif and Ahmed, then 5, yearned to go to the Cairo zoo again with their father so they could feed carrots to the giraffes. Or sit and watch their father play cards with his friends, trying to learn how to mimic his every move. They missed their father's embrace.

Bashir was -- blissfully perhaps -- only five weeks old when Izzat was taken and does not harbor the memories of his older brothers. He grew up constantly asking questions about their father: "What was Baba like?"

Three years later, the family settled in suburban Atlanta under the wing of Mohammed Almegaryaf, the boys' uncle and once a high-ranking Libyan government official who founded the opposition National Front for the Salvation of Libya.

They eked out a new life, becoming citizens of a place far from North Africa, always waiting for the day when Gadhafi would tumble and their father would be released. For two agonizing decades, they spent their days longing for one man and hating another.

Smuggled words of love

Over the years, people told Nora to forget the life she made with Izzat, a handsome former army officer and political activist who loved poetry and music. They told her she should remarry, find happiness again.

Nora refused to abandon her husband. She believed in her heart he would return.

And yet, the boys knew that they could not kid themselves. They were dealing with one of the most ruthless regimes in the world.

They learned snippets of their father's circumstances through his letters from Abu Salim prison. But the last was received in the mid 1990s.

There has been no direct news of Izzat since then, though reliable witnesses working with human rights groups including Amnesty International and the United Nations Human Rights Council have reported sightings of him up until 1996, the year Gadhafi squashed an uprising at Abu Salim with brutal force. Human Rights Watch says 1,200 prisoners were killed that day.

It would be one thing to cope with a father's detention. It is another to pass each waking hour not knowing.

The boys recalled always being asked by strangers: "Where is your father?"

"He's away on a business trip," Youcif would reply, knowing the security risks for speaking the truth.

The family had received anonymous telephone calls threatening them right after Izaat's abduction. Another time, a suspicious phone call came to Youcif's elementary school in Atlanta from a man who alleged he was Izzat and that the school should have the boy ready to be picked up.

The family felt they were being watched; that too many people knew too many things about them. That was the nature of Gadhafi's security apparatus, they said.

Sometimes, Youcif had nightmares of his father being pulled out of his cell and shot.

Ahmed developed nonepileptic seizures -- sometimes up to seven an hour -- that his therapist concluded were trauma-induced.

At first, Nora read out only parts of her husband's letters that were addressed to the boys. She wanted to spare her tender children the harsh truth.

She knew the letters were genuine -- they were written in her husband's distinct Arabic calligraphy, often difficult to decipher by those unfamiliar with it.

He told her he had not been the best husband and father and that it had been due to his "preoccupation with the Libyan cause."

To his sons, his "three musketeers, his dear ones, the light of my eyes," he wrote:

"You are my dreams for a better future for all of us. I cannot express to you how much I do miss you, for writing won't do it justice. You are always on my mind. Your greetings reach me with every breath of fresh air I get in the early morning. They reach me with the birds, which have made a nest on my pillow. Whenever the guards go to sleep, the birds come to me telling me stories about you. Your greetings reach me as the wind plays music on the walls of my cell. You come to me with the sunrise of every sun and fill my heart with love. You come to me at night with every moon. You are always with me."

He told them to learn how to be strong, to learn to swim and ride a horse. To always be good Muslims. And that one day, he knew, they would be reunited in a free Libya.

"I taught you that our country does not become greater without us standing up to defend it. It only grows with our efforts, sweat and sacrifices," he wrote.

"When I was with you, I used to worry for your safety, show you endless love, and give you whatever you asked for, you can only imagine how I feel now as I am far away from you."

The boys held on to every word. They tried to picture their father sitting in a dark cell. Where did he get the paper? What was he wearing? Was he in pain? How was he treating his diabetes?

Later, they learned from the letters that their father was detained by a Col. Mohamed Hassan, an Egyptian security agent. He had "disappeared" along with Jabballah Hamed Matar, another leading Libyan opposition figure in Cairo.

The two men were taken to the headquarters of the Egyptian military security for further interrogation and then transferred to Abu Salim prison in Tripoli.

"Your mother may have told you how I asked the butterflies, the flowers and birds to take care of you," he wrote to them.

"I asked the wind to gently play with locks of your hair and lessen the difficulties of your life. As for the clouds, I have asked them to rain candy on you, and give you shade when it gets hot, and the sky, I asked it to gently rain love and tenderness onto you. I wrote for you songs and stories about the homeland and made it into a necklace I placed on you when you were young."

And he asked: "Do you also think of me?"

One step closer to knowing

Youcif, who began working at 16 to help support his family, has in many ways stepped into his father's shoes. Of the three sons, he bears the closest resemblance to Izzat.

He has been outspoken in denouncing Gadhafi. He has taken his family's cause to the U.N. Human Rights Council and to the British Parliament, where he broke down while speaking about his brother's seizures.

He has written to U.S. congressmen and senators.

Under international law, he tells them, forced disappearances qualify as torture for the victim and his family. He cannot understand why America won't help its own citizens who are being tortured.

Now, he has committed his strongest act to date, stepping aboard a plane that would carry him physically closer to that place that has fully occupied his heart.

Before he left, he spoke of the unbridled violence unfolding in his country. "It's literally a genocide," he said. "And we're doing nothing about it."

He contemplated the possibility that soon, he might set foot on the soil of his ancestors.

It is a land of pristine beaches and majestic mountains, of people and traditions hidden from the world under Gadhafi's black curtain.

His father, like thousands of educated Libyans, knew his country was doomed when early in his rule, Gadhafi scrapped Libya's constitution and implemented revolutionary law.

"I think the devils work for him," chimed in Youcif's brother Ahmed, who has been compiling as much information as he can about the uprising and disseminating it on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

"It's hard to explain how ruthless he is," Ahmed said. "It's frustrating to see what he's done and for the world to shrug it off."

Sometimes, he allows himself images in his head of his first meeting with his father. More than anything, he just wants to look at him, feel him. He wonders whether his father will be able to recognize his little boy.

But the images from Libya on television quickly remind him of Gadhafi's police state. And Ahmed returns to reality.

"What if he did pass?" he said.

What if, after all this time, the family is shattered all over again?

The disappearance of their father 20 years ago has haunted brothers Ahmed, left, and Youcif Almegaryaf.
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2011, 07:13:48 pm »

The BBC's Jeremy Bowen reporting from Tripoli says the uprising is spreading

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged the global body's Security Council to take "decisive action" over the Libya crisis.

He said violations of human rights had been carried out by Muammar Gaddafi's regime, and more than 1,000 had died.

Speaking at a meeting of the Security Council in New York, Mr Ban warned of a growing refugee and food crisis.

In Libya, reports say anti-government protesters in the capital Tripoli came under heavy gunfire on Friday.

Witnesses reported deaths and injuries as militiamen and government troops confronted protesters as they emerged from mosques following Friday prayers and started demonstrating in several areas of the city.

At the same time, Libyan state TV showed Colonel Gaddafi speaking from the Tripoli's old city ramparts, urging the crowd to arm themselves and defend the nation and its oil against the anti-Gaddafi elements who have taken control of large parts of the country.

"We shall destroy any aggression with popular will," he said. "With the armed people, when necessary we will open the weapons depots. So that all the Libyan people, all the Libyan tribes can be armed. Libya will become a red flame, a burning coal."

Later, at a hastily organised news conference at the UN in New York, Libyan deputy ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi described Col Gaddafi, who has been in power for 42 years, as a "madman". He warned that thousands would die in Tripoli because the Libyan leader would never flee and would fight to the end.
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At the scene
image of Jeremy Bowen Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East editor, Tripoli

Outside the airport there's a sad sight. Several thousand people queuing in the darkness and rain, trying to get flights out. Some people told me they were from Syria, others appear to be from the Indian sub-continent, the kind of migrant workers upon whom this economy has been depending.

I was given a briefing by a man who said he was an engineer who has come back from Italy. The fact that he spoke to us suggests he has been given permission to do so, and he was essentially presenting the regime's position as a point of stability in a sea of chaos. The only place the "system" is operational is in the capital, he said.

There's a fair amount of traffic on the streets. There were some reports of shooting near the airport but I saw no signs of that. In some side streets I saw some road blocks, but they didn't look like military people.

Much of the east of the country is in the hands of anti-Gaddafi protesters and units of the Libyan military that have crossed over to them.

Mr Ban said 22,000 people had fled Libya via Tunisia, and a further 15,000 via Egypt.

"Much larger numbers are trapped and unable to leave," he added. "There are widespread reports of refugees being harassed and threatened with guns and knives."

He said it was important for neighbouring countries, including those in Europe, to keep their borders open to those fleeing the violence.

Mr Ban also said that there was a food crisis inside Libya that the UN World Food Programme (WFP) expected to worsen. The WFP says Libya's food supply chain is at risk of collapse because imports have not been getting into the country and food distribution is hampered by violence.

Diplomats at the UN Security Council say Britain and France have drawn up a draft resolution with a package of measures aimed at isolating Libya's political and military leaders. Elements could include targeted sanctions, an arms embargo, and a proposed referral of the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2011, 07:19:00 pm by TD892 » Report Spam   Report to moderator   Logged
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« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2011, 04:59:03 am »

Colonel Gaddafi's family wealth takes shelter in London

COLONEL Gaddafi secretly deposited 3 billion pounds ($4.8bn) with one of London's Mayfair private wealth managers last week as he sought to protect his family's fortunes.

The deal was brokered on his behalf by a Swiss-based intermediary who, it is understood, had previously approached another well-known City stockbroking firm five weeks ago with a view to depositing funds.

However, when that stockbroker discovered the ultimate identity of the source of the funds, it advised the intermediary to take his business elsewhere.

The chief executive of the firm told The Times: "I said no, because personally I'm not comfortable dealing with murdering tyrants with blood on their hands."

The go-between then looked for another firm to take the funds.

The news comes as the UK Treasury has stepped up efforts to trace and freeze Colonel Gaddafi's assets in Britain, which are believed to include billions of dollars in bank accounts, some commercial property and a ₤10 million ($15.9m) mansion in London.

The Treasury's Asset Tracing Unit, set up in October 2007 to implement and administer international financial sanctions, is understood to be supervising the work.

At the same time, the US government is escalating attempts to prevent the dictator from moving assets out of Libya, telling American banks to monitor closely transactions that may be linked to the crisis.

The Swiss government last night ordered Swiss banks to freeze any assets belonging to Colonel Gaddafi, issuing a comprehensive blocking order covering 29 people, including the dictator's wife and children, some of his wife's relatives and six officials of the regime.

It is believed, though, that the Gaddafi family may have moved much of their money out of Switzerland already. This follows a diplomatic row when, three years ago, the Swiss police arrested the dictator's son, Hannibal, after claims that he had beaten his servants while staying in a Geneva hotel.

The inquiry was later dropped but, in response to the original claims, Tripoli said it was removing all Libyan assets from Swiss banks.

The chief executive of the stockbroking firm that was initially asked to take the money told The Times that he was approached by a Swiss intermediary who said that he wanted to invest ₤3bn on behalf of a Libyan family.

"It was all very odd - almost like they had looked us up in the Yellow Pages," he said. "I think the Swiss intermediary was perfectly legitimate. You have to remember that, five weeks ago, dealing with Libya was legitimate.

"But there's been loads of this - we understand Gaddafi has about ten billion in the City," he added.

He said the intermediary had indicated that the money was to have been used to buy stocks in London. London-based stockbrokers and investment managers have noted a surge of money emerging from North Africa and the Middle East during the past month.

Lawyers told The Times that the Mayfair money manager would not have had to apply to the Financial Services Authority, the City watchdog, for clearance under anti-money laundering regulations.

They explained that when information on deposits of this size is filed with regulators, the Swiss intermediary - not Colonel Gaddafi - would have been registered as the client.
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« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2011, 05:08:33 am »

Image of Underground Prison in Benghazi

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