Using Technology for International Justice

For the last few days, the world’s attention has focused on Libya, where the “Jasmine Revolution” has finally made its way to the streets of Tripoli and Benghazi.  While Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi still believes his people dig him, the dozens of videos appearing on YouTube, showing protests and carnage throughout the country seem to prove otherwise.  And now the international community wants to take action.    The International Criminal Court is paying close attention to the protests and want to bring the Gadhafi regime to trial with the help of those online videos.

…”Information suggests that forces loyal to President Moammar Gadhafi are attacking civilians in Libya. This could constitute crimes against humanity and must stop,” the Argentinian prosecutor said.  “There will be no impunity for leaders involved in commission of crimes.”…

…Moreno-Ocampo also appealed for “footage and images to confirm alleged crimes.” In the early days of fighting in Libya, many of the images of the crackdown were taken by the protesters themselves, often grainy recordings on mobile phones.

While he conceded it would be a challenge to collect evidence while the conflict is still raging and to protect potential witnesses, Moreno-Ocampo said, “there’s plenty of public information, so we are confirming some points and I hope we can move very fast.”…

Other countries are making efforts to suppress any potential protests with the help of online organizing, such as China.

Jittery Chinese authorities staged a show of force to squelch a mysterious online call for a “Jasmine Revolution,” with hundreds of onlookers but only a handful of people actively joining protests inspired by pro-democracy demonstrations sweeping the Middle East.

Authorities detained activists [Feb. 20], increased the number of police on the streets, disconnected some cell phone text messaging services and censored Internet postings about the call to stage protests in Beijing, Shanghai and 11 other major cities….

…Many activists said they didn’t know who was behind the campaign and weren’t sure what to make of the call to protest, which first circulated Saturday on the U.S.-based Chinese-language news website

The unsigned notice called for a “Jasmine Revolution” – the name given to the Tunisian protest movement – and urged people “to take responsibility for the future.” Participants were urged to shout, “We want food, we want work, we want housing, we want fairness” – a slogan that highlights common complaints among Chinese…

The Mugabe regime might also be getting a call from the ICC soon too.

Posted in Africa, Asia, Middle East, Online Journalism, Video, YouTube and tagged , , , , , , .

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