Warning: This site contains images and graphic descriptions of extreme violence and/or its effects. It's not as bad as it could be, but is meant to be shocking. Readers should be 18+ or a mature 17 or so. There is also some foul language occasionally, and potential for general upsetting of comforting conventional wisdom. Please view with discretion.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Video Study: Protesters Being Shot, Anywhere

September 22, 2011

I've been saying for a while that there are very few videos - at least three, and I doubt much more - of those peaceful Libyan protesters actually being shot back in February. I must first acknowledge I've run a bit ahead of myself there, and haven't really made an exhaustive study. I'm trying to do that now, but it's tedious. So far I'm finding nothing past the three that show apparent demonstrators visibly being downed.

If you're not familiar with the government's explanation, see the post "Massacring Protesters: Really?"  They'd say the videos either weren't made or weren't shared because they were getting themselves shot attacking army bases to steal weapons for violent war. And they wanted to be seen instead as peaceful protesters. And they were seen that way - they just weren't seen being shot hardly ever.

There were thousands of little iPhone-type cameras floating around, several filming most of the incidents we've seen, often from two or three of a dozen views captured (for example, this March protest against "mercenaries" in Benghazi). Most of these were able to get their footage to the world within 24 hours, somehow or other. And we heard that hundreds of innocent protesters were shot dead unprovoked, and hundreds others shot non-fatally. There should be (and might be) far more than the three cases I know of where we get to see the sudden transition from healthy to injured or dead.

Understandably, not all camera people are solid enough to keep filming when shots are being fired. Some will drop the thing, or turn it off and run, or keep it going and run away, showing us nothing but blurs. I'm sure it's not easy to film a killing or massacre within your own line of sight. But it's a pivotal moment to capture, the moral crux of the protesters' cries for foreign intervention. They told us all about it in the starkest and most alarming terms, but proved unable generally to actually and simply prove it with video. A single view, anything.

And it's not that they're required to, just that it'sreally odd how they cant when, if the picture they paint were true, the videos should, just naturally exist. Perhaps three doze, perhaps one dozen or even less.But three?

Below are some samples of videos that don't make the cut, the three I know of that do, and a space for any others that fit the required bill. I will keep looking, and invite submissions.I suspect in time the list will grow, but not by much. Prove me wrong!

No Good
No Good, Hospital footage
Libyan killed by Gaddafi forces in Tripoli- CAUTION VERY GRAPHIC
craino0 Feb 22, 2011
Several dead victims shown in still photos, some extremely dead, blasted apart in shocking ways most people don't need to see. All are fighting age males, one light-skinned black, the others Arab. Circumstances and even assailant are unclear, but it's been said they were killed by security forcesand/or "African mercenaries," using anti-aircraft guns against completely peaceful demonstrators. And there's plenty of "said" already, and not enough "shown."

A Message to Gaddafi from A Libyan injured protester at the hospital in Zawia, Libya Feb25th
Uploaded by molibya on Feb 25, 2011
Again, this tells us nothing except what someonesays about what happened -in alanguage I can only catch a few words in. It wastes the evidentiary value of video, putting it on a par with any credulous news report. It isn't even worth wasting a moment with, unless I could myself understand and evaluate his words and look into verifying them .... Plus, FWIW, actual video evidence shows Az Zawiyah "protesters" were in full armed combat mode (machine guns, RPGs, perhaps tanks) by mid-day of the 24th.

No Good, Shot Not Shown
This is a large and sometimes ambiguous category, encompassing most videos the average person would be tempted to retort with here. Unlike the above category, some of these are worthy of examination for direct secondary clues (location mostly), but none quite show what some of them should - people actually being shot.

Libyan citizen killed by a sniper Gaddafi in Libya.FLV

phinix89x, March 1
A man shot in the head in an alleyway, lots of blood around, a hole in the top of his head, slumped against another man's legs. There's a car and one other guy nearby. What could be a less clear sign of government repression?

Protesters in Libya shot and killed by Gaddafi Thugs
ibntarabulus, February 17
An injured man, being carried. Blood is on his pants and coming from his nose. It's not even clear if he was shot, or punched, or what. No context shown, obviously, for if he deserved it. But being in the field instead of hospital, presumably near the site of injury, makes it worth more study (later, maybe). Where was he at? This kind of question proved useful in the following video:

Libya Protesters Shot
Like the above, it doesn't show the shooting, but I covered it already anyway (see February 19's Death Toll in Benghazi). It shows two injured (one fatal, one unsure) only after the fact, next to a school in Benghazi, and coming from roughly the site of violent attacks on the Benghazi army barracks a few blocks away to the southwest. This not only fails to prove the rebel version, it actually supports the government version fairly well.

And for the second most ambiguous one yet, see the post "Video Study: Demonstrators Shot by Unseen Gunmen." The video from Benghazi, February 15, was first presented as showing anti-government protesters shot by the government. But prior to drastic editing, it had shown pro-government demonstrators, so it was thought by some they were shot by anti-government terrorists. But I think it shows no one shot at all. Read it to see if you agree or disagree, and feel free to comment.

No Good, Idiot
riots in libya protest 2011 protester/camera man killed while filming in libya
Uploaded by onetv1channel on Feb 26, 2011
Then there's this video around of an unarmed cameraman killed by Gaddafi forces (in Misrata?) while filming them (watched it once, haven't studied it). Problem is, he wasn't filming protests near the army, but an armed gang stalking them, sneaking up behind them with rocket launchers, to kill them. He wasn't technically a combattant, but naturally when the forces opened fire to defend themselves in a moment of surprise, they might hit whoever they see instinctively. Really sad? Or just really stupid and unlucky? Perhaps both.

No Good, Not Protesters AND No One Shot
Protesters In Triploi Take Fire From Anti Aircraft Weaponry
Protesters in Triploi take AA fire? Not in this video. This shows hooligans burning buildings and cars at night. They might be armed, but not that I noticed. Someone's shooting a lot, sounds like, and yelling Allahu Akbar a lot, I'm not sure where and which side. The "protesters" do hide behind cars, perhaps as if avoiding bullets, but the only time they run is just after one guy finishes some unseen manual work next to a car. They run behind the wall and just then more "gunshots" are heard. A car nearby is on fire, and car alarms keep going off. IF anyof these hooligans had gotten shot by the police, I wouldn't call it justified, but not regime change material either.

No Good, Only Weapons Shown
Libya - Benghazi - Weapons of African mercenaries
Posted by Benzebide, Feb 21
This shows some idiot holding up the fearsome weapons the protesters confiscated from an "African mercenary" in Benghazi. It's apparently the same weapon found on killed "mercenary" Hisham Mansour, and stuck mockingly into the crack of his naked butt in another famous video from, I believe, Benghazi, February 21. Problem is, at least according to a researcher who made a video to demonstrate it, the weapon is a special non-lethal gun used by riot control police around the world, including Libya's Internal Security forces, of which Mr. Mansour was a member. Oops. 

Good: Noncombatant People Getting Shot
By that I mean not that it's a good thing, but that it fits the criteria of being worth really examining. As I said above, I start with three videos so far. They're all from the same town, apparently the same day (February 17, as  I've been saying, or perhaps February 16), the same hour, and the same stretch of street. And further, two of them show the same exact shooting (total victims: 2). However this examination pans out, it cannot therefore do much to illustrate a top-down, nationwide order to kill protesters as was alleged - that would manifest in more than one city and more than one day.

1) Protests in Al Bayda East Libya on the 17th Feb facing live fire
Posted by Libyanm, Jun 10 
This decent-resolution video, filmed from a rooftop, is dated on-screen Feb 17, day 3 of fighting. It shows a rowdy funeral procession approaching a police line. One of the protesters is shot down and then carried away, leaving a trail of blood.

2) "Qaddafi's men open fire on a funeral procession and kill mourners, Al BaiDa'"
Posted by LibyanSolidarity, March 2
On-screen text has, in "Indian numbers," 17, suggesting again Feb 17. The day or the group? Dunno. It's from the same procession as above, again from a rooftop, a bit earlier and further from the police than the other. Again, one protester falls at the sound of a gunshot, this time hauled away in a truck that happened (?) to pull up just before the shooting. 

Posted by apologiiiize, Feb 20 
Description gives this as the date of the incident, but it's earlier - the police were all dead or gone by the 20th. This shows the same killing shown in video 1, from closer - ground level, just feet behind the young guy who was shot. It's abit disturbing to see - lots of blood,but no brains.

For in-depth analysis, including a video, of these three videos, see the post "Video Study: Al Baida Snipers" (fuller summary forthcoming here). The first and only time I see three videos of protester-type people being shot, I have a special case to make - several clues converge here suggesting a false-flag job by provocateur snipers, letting their work be naturally blamed on the government troops everyone could actually see. It's a solid case, if not quite proven. Skeptics, please have a look before dismissing this.

And alternately, this could be a genuine case of government troops opening fire on demonstrators. On one day, and in one of Libya's mid-tier cities. One was captured by two cameras. Where are the hundreds of victims from Benghazi, Tripoli, Misrata, az Zawiyah, etc. being shot down? Even one view of oneincident like this, that we can study?

Anything further I find or have submitted (comments below are a good place for this) will go in this list, starting with 4), if that ever is unearthed.


  1. Re: Libyan killed by Gaddafi forces in Tripoli- CAUTION VERY GRAPHIC

    Please note that the three or four sets of body parts belong to suicide bombers. The video title claims this is from Tripoli. I believe I have seen the same video posted as being from Benghazi.

    Petri Krohn
    Hands off Libya on Facebook

  2. There is a convincing video of someone freshly killed with a bullet in his forehead here uploaded on 25 February, labelled Tajura. The Wikipedia page for Tajura (I haven't looked further yet) says more than 105 (!) people were shot from the top of a building that day. I have found no video evidence for bodies,injuries or hospital admissions for Tajura.

    The same clip appears again on 3 March, labelled both Tajura and Benghazi. Who knows where it is. Not Tajura on 25 Feb, if indeed Tajura... upload too early.
    A peaceful protest in Tajura on 25 Feb is filmed but the cameraman fails to show a scintilla of evidence for "By the time they reached Al-Hani district, they were attacked by pro-Gaddafi forces with anti-aircraft guns, [i.e.not snipers' bullets] killing many". Neither does anyone else.
    Tajura was always an anti-Gaddafi town east of Tripoli.

  3. PK, thanks for the first time comment, and sorry for the delay. Suicide bombers is an interesting possibility. I've only heard of one so far, that blew open the Katiba's north gate in Benghazi Feb 20. I doubt even this much was left of that guy. Personally, I find the same day and locale most likely for these extreme injuries -the first "protesters" inside the Katiba to corner some soldiers at an AA gun station, so they defended themselves with what they had, blew a few apart before being beheaded.

    It's really hard to say, unless you're one who would falsely excise all possible "protester" violence, then it can be clear they were faultless whatever weapons were turned on them.

  4. Felix, good find from Tajoura. Perfect example-see these protesters? They're peaceful, but later after I stopped filming, they did get totally shot."

    I wouldn't rule out shooting there - I've heard there were things attacked and burnt there around the 25th. It wouldn't shock me some were killed in the process.

    Did that same march later devolve into insurgent hooliganism, or were these groups completely separate? Too many unknowns to... be able to... know very much.

  5. Al Jazeera reported at 23.56hrs GMT (01.56 Libyan time 17 Feb) Wedesday 16 February 2011 that:

    At least two people have been killed in clashes between Libyan security forces and demonstrators in the town of Bayda, east of Benghazi, the second largest city, as activists plan major anti-government protests throughout the country on Thursday.

    The victims' names were: Khaled El-Naji Khanfar or Khaled Naji Khanfar (
    خالد الناجى خنفر )

    and Ahmad Shoushaniya.

    Wednesday's deaths come as hundreds of protesters have reportedly torched police outposts in the eastern city of Beyida, while chanting: "People want the end of the regime."

    At least 38 people were also injured in the clashes, including ten security officials.

    "All the people of Beyida are out on the streets," said 25-year-old Rabie al-Messrati, who said he had been arrested after spreading a call for protests on Facebook.

    Strangely, the name of the second victim morphed over time to become

    Saad Al Yemeni (سعد اليمني)
    or Saad Hassan Al Yemani (سعد حسن اليمنى)

    according to Alkarama, 21 February 2011

    [Alkarama later describes Al-Yemeni as a 14 year old boy killed in front of the security forces' headquarters]

    Funny that, a change of identity after death...

    No alleged death certificate was issued at the time by Al-Bayda hospital for anyone with a name remotely like Ahmad Shoushaniya.

    Also, Al Jazeera's blog for February 18 contains the following:
    "7:11 pm 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. LibyaFeb17.com, an invaluable source of social media aggregation on the Libya protests, posted a translated version of the television interview given to Al Jazeera Arabic by Saad. (posted 14.39hrs, not sure of time zone, 18 Feb 2011.

  6. Worth preserving is the translated Al Jazeera interview with "Aamir Saad,political activist",noted above.

    "Aamir: …Their cousin, their family and neighbours. How would you feel if you were to find your brother or son have been killed by African mercenaries? The protesters in Al Bayda have been able to seize control of the military airbase in the city and have executed 50 African mercenaries and 2 Libyan conspirators. Even in Darnah today, a number of conspirators were executed, they were locked up in the holding cells of a police station because they resisted, and some died burning inside the building. This will be the end of every oppressor who stands with Gaddafi. Gaddafi is over, that’s it, he has no presence here anymore. The eastern regions of Libya are now free regions. If he wants to reclaim it, he will need to bomb us with nuclear or chemical bombs. This is his only option. The people have stood and said they will not go back. And we in Darnah today are standing and camping in AsSahabah square.

    News anchor: We need to double check a couple of things with you because you are there, first how are police forces dealing with protesters. The second thing we want to confirm is the report that has been announced by a number of news sources regarding the escape of many prisoners from Al Quwaifeeyah Prison in Benghazi (East Libya) due to riots that occurred in the prison. Is this confirmed news?

    Aamir: Those are conspirators and thugs that the regime set free, and gave them 5000 dinars. The regime also promised them another 5000 dinars. But even though they are conspirators and thugs, they remain Libyans. And I know very well that they will NOT side with Gaddafi’s regime. Impossible. Only one of them fully declared his allegiance with the regime and his name is RAJAB AL ADOOLI and he was executed yesterday, he was killed, and it was over! And the things AsSaadi Al Gaddafi said yesterday on Libya’s state channel is rubbish, saying he will return to Benghazi. Benghazi does not belong to his father, for his father to give it to him to rule. Did not his father say that the RULE is in the hands of the people? WE ARE THE PEOPLE! And we tell you Gaddafi one word: LEAVE! You are an oppressor! We do not want you. I am the child of a free police officer, and I am benefitting from your regime, and I still benefit from it, and I still have money in your regime that I am entitled to due to my being the son of a police officer, but I don’t want this money. I want one thing, I want FREEDOM FOR MY COUNTRY. I want to see the flag of Islam fluttering over my country, I want to see you leave! Get out! Game over! Go hide your ugly face! What do you want me to say to him? Please go ahead Ms Khadijah."

  7. Worth noting too the blog postings of Al Jazeera for 18 February, Libyan local time, GMT+2.

    3:41 pm 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."

    4:54 pm Following up on news of death tolls in Libya. Al Jazeera online producer Evan Hill spoke with a doctor in Benghazi earlier this morning who cited two close friends - doctors in Benghazi and Bayda - who reported 14 and 25 deaths in those cities, respectively. The death toll in Libya seems likely to rise above the earlier count of 24, reported by Human Rights Watch.

    Again, this figure of 25 deaths in Al Bayda on the 16th and 17th bears no relation to any video footage of deaths and indeed to the alleged 12 death certificates issued to deaths caused by "Mercenaries supporting the security services" on the 17th and the two earlier alleged sniper victims.

  8. Doctors... They issued DCs at the hospitals saying mercenaries for cause of death? That's just not right. I always suspected, now more sure, some of these doctors were "activists" and real crooked apples (in Misrata too, pumping endless unverifiable or untrue stories). Can apples be crooked? Sure. Their counts, nothing can be trusted, but everything that supported the Wets's view was accepted asa basis for WAR. The West is such a crooked apple, rotting on the branch, poisoning everything it touches...

  9. One wonders whether a stock of death certificates was plundered and filled out...

  10. A longer 3.44 minute version of the Al Bayda rooftop video is available from katosha007,uploaded earlier on 25 March, entitled البيضاء : شرقي ليبيا 17 فبراير 2011 . There is something very odd about that death - there seems to be a rush from behind, a couple of people duck, and the dead person slumps forwards towards the line as if pushed from behind. A guy in pale clothes who has just thrown a Molotov cocktail stands motionless on the corner, then slowly ambles away, paying no attention. Could this have been faked ?(action at about 1.40-1.42) Gunshots have been dubbed, one nicely coordinated at 1.40.

  11. It's some odd stuff. The cocktail flare seems the trigger for whoever shot. His forward fall does seem strange, and I admit the close-up view could be faked. A simple blood spout up the back of his collar could do that.

    That said, I'm still inclined to think it real, since I've got these clues of a whole second party besides the cops who could have done it. And people did really die around...

    As for dubbed shots, not sure how to spot those. You say the time stamps don't reflect the 17th... this means some processing usually. If there isn't a stamp, one wonders why- to manipulate or add something? I do/did think there's a dubbed shot in the close-up video. Check the video I made, where the actions are synched up between videos 1 and 3. This gunshot sound is present in both, and happens just before the guy falls. Four second gap in video 1... it seemed like the video-maker for #3 didn't know which shot was supposed to have killed the kid, and added a sound just before the view finds him. It sounds different, perhaps like a bullet hit (?) but I see it's almost exactly 4 seconds after the last shot again. May do a soundwave visual comparison to see if there's any discrepancy, but it may not be off at all...

  12. Just noticed that an Al-Bayda video was uploaded on 16 February by an Irish Libyan dissident site! see Burning Police station in Byada" (sic)

    (I don't know anything about time stamps on videos, as per your comment above. Was it me?)

    Another video uploaded on 16 Feb by MCMalikL describes the scene as ARUBA street! Albadya Libya Demonstrators @LibyaSupremeمظاهرة البيضاء 16 فيبراير


  13. One of the al Jazeera "interviews" which "did it", uploaded 17th Feb is seen here,AJA interview with Libyan man in Derna , "Aamir Saad". Translation is only part of the exchange.


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