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Rape and prostitution: the plight of refugee women at a DR Congo camp

Charly Kasereka, independent journalist

“A friend of mine, Alain Wandimoyi, who was already an Observer, told me how the site worked. I signed up, and one day, a journalist from FRANCE 24 contacted me. Since then, I have often contributed to the Observers’ coverage in parallel with my professional activities.
This experience has helped me a lot in my work. It taught me how to fact check by finding multiple sources – sometimes even remotely, if I am not witness to an incident. I am very happy to be able to contribute to a noble task: informing the public.”
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Witness recounts harrowing sexual assault by Tahrir Square mob

Cairo, EGYPT
Mostafa Kandil, medical student

“I heard about the Observers when one of France 24’s journalists contacted me on Twitter during the Egyptian presidential elections in 2012. I then went on to cover various events in Egypt for the Observers website.
What I like about this concept is that it features regular, local people who share their vision of the world around them, without any hidden political agendas.”
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Graphic images show horrifying 'vigilante justice' in Cameroon

Jean D., student

“I always watch the France 24 Observers on TV. The fact that it is open to everyone inspired me to contribute. I wanted to show the world the shocking things I see when I walk around in the streets of Douala. To me, the most pressing problem here is vigilante justice. I’ll continue my fight against this until these incidents stop happening.”
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Cypriot police officer breaks Ivorian's leg during identity check

Nicosia, CYPRUS
Alex Akana, student

“I’ve been a fan of FRANCE 24 since day one. I watch all the shows, and I knew that if I wanted to share some information, I could contact the Observers team. When I learned that the police broke a man’s leg in Cyprus, I immediately sent them the video.
For now, the situation here in Cyprus hasn’t changed. Africans are stopped by the police in the street all the time. To get the police to respect foreigners’ rights, I think we need more media outlets to take an interest in this problem.”
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Some schools begin to reopen in restive Central African Republic

Aurelio Gazzera, priest

“I work with the France 24 Observers because I want people to learn about the problems people face in a country that the media rarely takes an interest in, in the hopes that things will improve. This experience made me realize that the media has a real capacity to provoke change.
Also, contributing to the Observers has made me more attentive to what’s going on around me, because I want to be able to describe events with precision.”
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The disappearing phallic sculptures of Iran

Vahid Ramin, tour guide

“Seeing Iran’s nature and historical monuments getting destroyed every day has made me very worried. It’s important to get these stories out to the media, especially media outlets with lots of viewers like FRANCE 24, in order to prevent people from becoming apathetic.”
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Life on the inside: a detainee shows us around a prison for illegal immigrants

Corinth, GREECE
Thomas Matumona, Congolese refugee

“I was watching FRANCE 24 on my mobile phone while I was locked up in a Greek detention centre for undocumented immigrants. I decided I should send the Observers team photos of the living conditions in the centre. I discreetly took photos of the yard, the toilets, the food. The photos ended up being shown in the Observers TV show. The prison wardens asked me questions about this, and I confessed to taking the pictures. I explained that I was sick, and that I wasn’t getting treated, so I had no choice but to speak out. Not long afterwards, a lawyer took on my case and I was set free. I am certain that sharing these photos helped. Today, I am living as a refugee in France.”
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Libya's few forests are rapidly shrinking

Benghazi, LIBYA
Abdulhameed Hamrooni, radio journalist

“I started by attending the Libyablog workshop [a joint project between FRANCE 24 and RFI] in Tripoli in 2013. While there, I told some of the journalists who were training us about videos I had filmed showing deforestation in the Benghazi region. Later, we worked together on an article on the subject, and I also took part in the Observers TV show.
This was a great opportunity to teach Libyan viewers about how huge of a problem deforestation has become. I also gained experience in a type of media that was new to me.”
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Philippines typhoon: 'We're worried some of the aid could be diverted'

Dominique Lemay

“For several years now, whenever there is an important event in Philippines – whether it’s elections or natural catastrophes – I contribute to the FRANCE 24 Observers.
Taking part in an interview or writing up my reactions to a specific event helps me gain perspective and analyze what’s going on around me.”
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Anger at video of Israeli soldiers detaining 5-year-old rock thrower

Jerusalem, ISRAEL
Sarit Michaeli, activist

“My organization B’Tselem works with a network of citizens living in the occupied Palestinian territories. These are people we know and trust, and which we have trained to use video cameras. When they film incidents that reflect a wider problem – like a 5-year-old child being detained by soldiers for throwing a stone – we publish their videos on our site, and send them out to media outlets that are interested in human rights, like the FRANCE 24 Observers.”
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