From Bahrain to Russia, from Guinea to Syria, amateurs filmed more of the world’s news in 2013 than any year before. The FRANCE 24 Observers team has rounded up some of the most striking of these videos.
One of our Observers in Russia sent us footage of gay rights activists being attacked during protests. He told us about the climate of fear and hatred against gays in his country, just days before Russia’s parliament adopted a law banning “homosexual propaganda”.
In February, the second anniversary of Bahrain’s popular uprising was marked by violence, resulting in the death of a 16-year-old boy. In the video, filmed right after the teenager’s death, a desperate protester can be seen risking his life to stand up to the police.
A student from Sub-Saharan Africa living in the Tunisian capital called the police after a group of men started throwing stones at his apartment. However, after reaching out to the police for help, the victim was arrested. One of our Observers filmed the incident.
During his commute to work one morning, one of our Guinean Observers witnessed a strange sight: a policeman riding on the hood of a car in the capital, Conakry. The police officer resorted to this rather extreme technique in an attempt to force the driver to pull over. According to one of our Observers, this type of situation is not so unusual in his city.
The victims are beaten, humiliated and ultimately forced to pay a ransom. An amateur video shows the ordeal that former Seleka rebels imposed on a group of male residents of Bozoum, a small city in northwestern Central African Republic.
“Don’t provoke me!” This video filmed by a shopper in a Riyadh store shows a Saudi woman giving an officer from the religious police a piece of her mind. He had apparently asked her to cover up her entire face, even though she was already wearing a traditional niqab, with only her eyes and the top of her nose visible.
This striking video illustrates the rampant crime problem in Brazil, as well as its police force’s take-no-prisoners response to it. The scene takes place in eastern Sao Paulo. A motorcycle rider with a camera attached to his helmet captures the moment he is stopped by a young man on a motorbike, who points a gun at his face. He’s forced to hand over his motorcycle. However, the thief doesn’t get away…
Dozens of bystanders in Nicosia witnessed a police officer using excessive force against Sylvain Somé, from the Ivory Coast. They took photos, videos and complained that an officer broke his leg. From his hospital bed, the victim described it as a “racist attack".