Burkina Faso: Mass Protests Lead to Change of Power
As thousands of Burkinabe took to the streets last week to protest a proposal to extend President Blaise Compaoré’s 27-year rule, YouTube videos from the capital of Ouagadougou capture the unfolding situation, from massive discontent to violent clashes with police.
Videos on the Ave Mada YouTube channel document clashes in Ouagadougou on October 30, when the army used live ammunition to disperse protesters. Three people were reported killed. The video above appears to depict young men running away from a protest as shots can be heard. In this clip, recorded the same day, a man describes being shot at by members of the presidential security forces who, he says, were joined by soldiers with Togolese accents. He was the only person in his group of five, he tells the filmer, who walked away unharmed.
Days of protests forced the president to not only rescind his proposal to amend the constitution, but to dissolve government and cede power to the military. Keep your eyes on the Burkina Faso playlist on the Human Rights Channel as we continue to curate footage and testimony from citizens on the ground.
France: The Killing an Activist and Opposition to a Dam
“What happened was terrible and should never happen again.” Those were the words of a French politician who represents the southwest Tarn region. He was referring to the death of Remi Fraisse, a 21-year old activist who was killed on October 26th while protesting construction of the Sivens Dam, a project that environmentalists say will destroy the region’s biodiversity.
Fraisse’s death has sparked more protests, especially since investigations revealed traces of TNT on his body, suggesting that he was killed by a police stun grenade.
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters clashed with police in the city of Nantes, as captured in the video above. Other protests regarding his death have taken place in Paris and Gaillac. In the wake of Remi Fraisse’s death, the government has halted work on the dam.
Iraq: Footage & Testimony of a Massacre
In late August, militants raided a mosque in Diyala province, killing 34 people inside.
Human Rights Watch interviewed survivors and witnesses of the attack, who provide harrowing testimony of the massacre. Many of them had gone to the scene when they heard shouting over the mosque’s loudspeakers, only to be ambushed when the assailants returned. Video taken by those first responders documents the horror of the scene. Even though an army and police checkpoint were nearby, no security forces responded to the attack.
[Top image a screengrab from a video from Ouagadougou on the Ave Mada YouTube channel.]