Magnum for The New York Times
"THE CULT OF 'THE DEAR BROTHER LEADER'"
Up until his violent demise Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, known among his followers as "The Dear Brother Leader", enjoyed a cult following unprecedented among other contemporary heads of state. His portrait was omnipresent throughout the country he controlled with an iron fist.
During the months leading to the fall of Qaddafi's regime, Tripoli's Green Square became a gathering place for Colonel Qaddafi's supporters, staging daily rallies in which hundreds and sometimes thousands of supporters would chant and dance, almost in a trance-like fashion, vowing to fight to the death in support of their leader.
A Qaddafi supporter holds a portrait of the Libyan leader as fireworks go up in the background on a soccer field in a suburb of Zawiyah. Government minders took a group of foreign journalists to attend a staged celebration after pro-Qaddafi forces retook the city from rebel fighters.