Libyan journalist Mohammed al-Nabbous, who launched a Web channel (similar to a live streaming TV channel on the internet) that covered the escalating violence in his home country, was killed in the attacks on rebel stronghold Benghazi that pro-Gaddafi forces carried out on Saturday, hours before a coalition military operation.
The 28-year-old Nabbous, whose channel was called Libya Al-Hurra (or Free Libya), played a key role in generating public outage against Gaddafi in the weeks before the UN voted in favour of a no-fly zone in Libya.
Nabbous launched his channel on February 17 to avoid government blockades of the Internet. He regularly broadcast raw footage and commentary. When he was reportedly struck by sniper fire Saturday, Nabbous was shooting footage of Saturday’s assault, in which Gaddafi sent planes, tanks, and ground troops into the eastern Libyan city.
He is the second journalist reported to have been killed in the rebellion, after an Al-Jazeera cameraman died in an ambush near Benghazi last week.
In one of the final videos that Nabbous published to his live stream channel, he filmed images of the aftermath of what he described as bombings on civilians. “He has to be stopped,” Nabbous told the Webcam.
Several hours later, a new post appeared on the site, in which Nabbous’s pregnant wife delivered the news that her husband had “passed away for this cause”. Her voice trembling with emotion, Nabbous’s widow Perdita Nabbous said: “What he started has got to go on, no matter what happens.”
“Mohammed al-Nabbous captured some of the most remarkable things about this conflict and about Libyans. He was fuelled by a very clear, moral purpose which was to show the world what was happening to his country,” Feb17voices founder John Scott-Railton told FRANCE 24 on Sunday, in a tribute to deceased blogger al-Nabbous.
Several high-profile journalists reacted to the news of Nabbous’s death with grief. CNN reporter Ben Wederman posted to his Twitter account: “Mohammed Nabbous was one of the courageous voices from Benghazi broadcasting to the world from the beginning. Smart, selfless, brave.”
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