Al Jazeera is reporting massacres against protesters in Bahrain through a combination of on the ground reporting, interviews with medical personnel and (unverified) Youtube videos. Read the Bahrain blog for more. These reports are backed up by journalists from other sources that are seeing them first hand (e.g. Nicholas Kristof) and international NGO and governmental authorities.
I’m not sure what is on CNN at the moment (I don’t have cable) but their website headline and story is unfathomable.
Violence erupts at Bahrain landmark
Violence flared again in the center of Bahrain’s capital Friday evening, as a confrontation between security forces and protesters resulted in casualties.
At least four people were killed and others were wounded when demonstrators clashed with security forces, an ambulance worker told CNN.
But Hady Mousaui, a member of parliament from the Wefaq party, told CNN that there were 27 injuries and no deaths. Three of the injured were in critical condition, he said, and were being treated in a hospital.
The casualties occurred when shots and tear gas were fired at a few hundred anti-government demonstrators who were trying to make a push on Pearl Roundabout, the focal point of anti-government demonstrations this week. It had been cleared early Thursday in a stiff crackdown and security forces had since cordoned it off.
This language is one of war and implies that both sides are fighting. I have seen no evidence of this reported anywhere. A panicked doctor at the main hospital in Bahrain echoes that people are being shot down “as if we were in a war” with “uncountable” casualties despite the protesters’ nonviolence:
Yesterday it was reported that medical personnel were beaten severely while trying to help demonstrators (with the video evidence and Nicholas Kristof to back it up) and today there are reports that the military targeted people even as they were trying to flee into the hospital. I’ve heard less corroboration of that save Kristof’s tweet: “Panicked crowds running thru hospital after police attack. Drs rushing to ER. Tear gas grenades outside, wafting in” implying that tear gas was fired close enough to drift into the hospital.
Reuters uses similar language to describe Libya:
Soldiers sought to put down unrest in Libya’s second city on Friday and opposition forces said they were fighting troops for control of a nearby town after crackdowns which Human Rights Watch said killed 24 people.
Protests inspired by the revolts that brought down long-serving rulers of neighboring Egypt and Tunisia have led to violence unprecedented in Muammar Gaddafi’s 41 years as leader of the oil exporting country.
There has been some destruction of property in Libya (police stations burned down) but again I have seen no evidence that there has been any violence directed against people by the demonstrators [that the article is referring to]. This type of language is unconscionable.
I can’t find much about Yemen on non-Al Jazeera sources. This article on CNN describes attacks against protesters but says nothing about wide scale shootings that are being reported.
Tell me that what’s going on on TV isn’t this bad. It was like this during the beginning of the Egyptian uprisings too but I figured they’d be more on the ball this time.
That said, it appears that there has been some fracturing in Libya amongst the police and has led to fighting between the sides. Al Jazeera’s blog on Libya states:
There is a fierce battle over the eastern Libyan city of Bayda, the Reuters news agency reports. Two Libyan exile opposition groups earlier claimed that that the city had been taken over by anti-government protesters who were joined by local police forces, but now it appears that government “militias” have been reinforced and are clashing with residents, who are fighting back “with any weapons they could find.”
More reports of potentially very deadly fighting in Bayda. Aamir Saad, a political activist, claims that anti-government demonstrators in Bayda have “executed 50 African mercenaries” – presumably a reference to the government militias – and “two Libyan conspirators”. Remember: Bayda is where protesters managed to regain hold of the city with the support of local police, according to Reuters.
Ironically the only events that would justify the rhetoric being used in all the stories above aren’t even being reported on yet by either CNN or Reuters’ main site.