Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured

Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured

Summary: Libya is following in the footsteps of Tunisia and Egypt. The country's dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, has already warned against the use of Facebook.

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Many Libyan Internet activists have declared their support for the pro-democracy movements and revolutions in the Middle East. After seeing the power of the people succeed in Tunisia and Egypt, they created groups on Facebook to call for political and economic reforms in Libya. Libya's dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, has responded by warning against the use of Facebook, according to IFEX.

Gaddafi has controlled Libya for more than 40 years, since 1969. Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was in power from 1987 until January 14, 2011, when he was forced to step down and flee the country. Egyptian dictator Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak was in power from 1981 until February 11, 2011, when he resigned after 18 days of protests. Facebook has been credited as helping rally protesters organize in both countries.

Libyan security forces have already arrested several Internet activists and Gaddafi has hired agents to attack activists who call for political reform and an end to corruption in the country. They even arrested Libyan activist Jamal Al-Hajji on a fabricated charge concerning a car accident, which is very similar to stories of what government forces did under orders from the Tunisian and Egyptian dictators.

As with Tunisia and Egypt, Libyan protester videos are also appearing on YouTube. One such amateur video appears to show demonstrators injured by what seems to be rapid gunfire. Witnesses said hundreds clashed with police and government supporters in the eastern city of Benghazi; the injury count currently stands at 40. Pro-government rallies were also reportedly held across the country today.

"We're demanding, first of all, that this regime falls, and a coalition government is formed," Hadi Shalluf, opposition leader in exile and a judge at the International Criminal Court, told Euronews. "We made this demand to the government a week ago. We want a constitutional committee to adopt a new constitution for the country, legislative and presidential elections. We want to try all of those who’ve committed crimes, to try all of those accused of corruption. We know, especially, that there is no trace of 1.5 trillion dollars of national revenue created since 1969. We want this money to go into the state's coffers."

Topics: Government US, Government, Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

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16 comments
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  • Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook

    Proving even a Libyan dictator knows a thing or two.
    klumper
  • RE: Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured

    It occurred to me that Facebook might be manipulated by Western Politicians.
    JasonQiang
  • He's right.

    Faceplant is a huge waste of time.
    james347
  • Funny (not haha funny)

    "Gaddafi has hired agents to attack activists who call for political reform and an end to corruption in the country"

    Meanwhile, in the land of the free, politicians continue to call for the murder of web site operators who embarrass the US government.
    HollywoodDog
    • RE: Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured

      @HollywoodDog No one in the US govt is asking for the murder of anyone involved in wikileaks. They are asking for the rule of law to be followed by wiki leaks - which is exactly what the Libyan people are asking for, the right to live under the rule of law.
      paul.hinz@...
      • RE: Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured

        @paul.hinz@... sorry paul, thats just not true. American Politicians and Commentators have called for the "illegal killing" (their words) of Julian Assange, I dunno in USA but in most civilized countries it is illegal to appeal to murder. Wikileaks are whistleblowers who denounce corruption and violation of human rights. they should be protected.

        O'Reilly: I'd like to see a little drone hit Julian Assange.

        Gingrich: Julian Assange is engaged in terrorism. He should be treated as an enemy combatant.

        Bob Beckel: "I am not for the death penalty and if I am not for the death penalty how do I want to do it? Illegally shoot the son of a b*tch."
        a_citizen
      • not so fast

        Added to what a_citizen quoted among the demagogues of American politics, more directly, VP Biden has referred to Assange as a "terrorist". http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/19/assange-high-tech-terrorist-biden

        It is the explicit policy of the US Administration to carry out extrajudicial assassination, kidnapping, torture, and execution of its political enemies. So there is indeed a direct line between the executive branch and very real threats of violence against Assange *or anyone associated with Wikileaks* including American citizens.
        qu1j0t3
      • RE: Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured

        @paul.hinz@... : so now the "rule of law" means the press can only publish what won't upset the U.S. government.

        Alas, you haven't seen what happened on abu ghraib and guantanamo. So much for "rule of law" there.

        Not to mention the treatment of "illegal aliens" on the Mexican border. Should the list go on? Or do we need a Facebook alternative to stop this mess down here.
        cosuna
    • RE: Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured

      @HollywoodDog Nothing wrong with that. The world is not black and white. As long as you dont go against the interest of YOUR OWN citizens, every foreigner is fair game.<br><br>I want Assange extra-judicially executed. BTW I laugh at the use of the word terrorist, hes just an annoying douche bag.
      Tommy S.
      • RE: Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured

        @Tommy S. So americans or people that happen to agree with you are above all the rest of world. Way the go!<br><br>Are you proud to be an american? good for you. Im proud to be a human being.
        a_citizen
  • RE: Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured

    Gaddafi must go ASAP. THAT NASTY RUTHLESS DICTATOR. HIS SONS TOO.
    johnsmithy3
  • Libya is interesting...

    .. but it is just a couple million population and half of those work for secret police.

    I haven't been to Libya in over 15 years but I was there through the shooting of the London police woman, the Regan era attacks, and the Berlin/Lockerbie/Niger bombings.

    I would not dare to say how people truly felt about the government but there was a terrific amount of spending on public infrastructure: roads, housing, irrigation, electrification, etc. Universal health care and education was in place and there were no obvious people in need on the streets.

    I encountered no blatant corruption and was able to do profitable business without overt bribery. I came and went without putting a US $ bill in my passport and I was able to buy parts for my car without bribing anyone. I was not getting any special treatment.

    Qaddafi was the guy who showed the rest of the oil producing nations (now OPEC) that they could get more money for their oil. He was the one who started the spiralling increase in oil prices in the 70's.

    So... it seems he's wacko but he ain't no Saddam.

    The most repeated complaints I heard were aimed at the centralized economy and the inability to run a private business. The reason that the country is not better off is because there is no wealth generation on top of money spent. Oil $$ come in. Government decides its time to import some cars. Oil $$ go out. There is no private, profit making import company that pays people and starts the economic cycle we depend on in most of the rest of the world.

    We were free to travel virtually anywhere in the country without special travel documents.

    The country was screwed up in many ways: I had to bring in my own Polaroid film pack to get my laminated, photo-id, drivers license.

    Other than that, I had the sense that most folk just wanted to run their own private affairs and did not give a rat's butt who was dictator.

    It would be interesting to find out what life is like in Libya today, without the Fox news hype and with a bit more depth than modern 15 second sound bites allow for.
    dekusall
  • RE: Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured

    Here's a rule of thumb: If it's a dictator the US doesn't like, he will be portrayed as a monster and the US media, the US Govt, FOX news, and all the Kool-aid guzzlin' knuckle-draggers will be screaming for his head on a platter, and practically swoon at the prospect of democracy bringing light and freedom to the people of that benighted land. Iran, Libya, Lebanese Hezbollah, and Hamas-ruled Gaza fall into this category. And it will all be bull.

    If a dictator is an American/Israeli puppet however, then he's a good guy, a stabilizing influence, a dependable ally, a bulwark against extremism, etc. And democracy must be implemented oh so gradually and oh so carefully. Yadda yadda.

    You've gotta been a moron to be taken in by this crapola.

    Gaddafi is like Castro, a man dedicated to the welfare of his people, and not the least bit interested in the welfare of the oil companies or the US military industrial complex.
    jeff_davis
  • RE: Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured

    Dictator Gadaffi and his billioners sons Must be kicked out from libya by force and keep the libyan money in libya...
    johnsmithy3
  • RE: Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured

    This letter is in response to the articles covering the civil unrest
    occurring in Libya.

    As a citizen of and believer in democracy, I applaud the efforts of the
    Libyan people. Their efforts are similar to what is happening in Yemen,
    Algeria and Bahrain as well as the most recent revolutions in Egypt and
    Tunisia.

    Believe it or not, one thing that trumps capitalism and political
    correctness in the United States is the right to have one's voice heard.
    This is the foundation of which our democracy is built on. The Libyan
    people should continue to defy Moammar Gadhafi's powerful
    security forces so that Libyan democracy can begin to thrive. It is
    unfortunate that the United States compromised on one of its most
    fundamental values in order to protect its economic interests in the
    Middle East; something that happens all too often domestically as well.
    It is not the Libyan people that are attempting to seize power but rather
    it is those currently in power who have engaged in intimidation to prevent
    the will of the people from being heard. Why else would they stoop to such
    underhanded tactics to block various means of communication among the
    citizens of Libya? Why is the government in power utilizing such
    political strong-arm tactics as the use of violence?

    Moammar Gadhafi, you have had forty-two years to lead Libya and have
    failed them by your own choosing. The days of the despotic regime are
    finally coming to an end as it appears the desire for freedom will continue
    to sweep among the Arab nations. Accordingly, let the call go forth among
    all citizens of Libya that your brothers and sisters of democracy from all
    over the world are with you during every trial and tribulation you may
    encounter during this crisis. To the people of Libya, the trumpet of
    freedom beckons you to rise in protest and ensure your voice to preserve
    your sacred heritage, promote your children's future and obtain the
    blessings of liberty we all cherish. Moammar Gadhafi, let the people
    go!

    JOE BIALEK
    Cleveland, OH USA
    joebialek
  • RE: Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured

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