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Widespread Violence Against Foreign Journalists in Egypt

ABC publishes a list of over 60 incidents in which foreign journalists came under attack. Clinton condemns assaults.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 2/8/2011, 9:31 AM

Foreign journalists in Egypt came under physical attack in dozens of incidents in the past few days. In some cases, the attackers were plainclothed police, in others - pro-Mubarak forces, and in yet others, citizens who were not identified as belonging to a specific group.

The widespread violence probably reflects pro-Mubarak forces' conviction that the uprising against the regime was fueled by journalistic propaganda - especially by the Al Jazeera channel, which is based in Qatar and is believed to have strong connections to exiled Muslim Brotherhood activists there. 
 
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton severely criticized the attacks.

"We condemn in the strongest terms attacks on reporters covering the ongoing situation in Egypt," Clinton told reporters at the State Department. "This is a violation of international norms that guarantee freedom of the press and is unacceptable under any circumstances."
 
This is an abridged version of a list of over 60 incidents which appeared Tuesday morning on the ABC News website:
  • APTN had their satellite dish aggressively dismantled, leaving them and many other journalists who rely on their feed point no way to feed material.
  • ABC News international correspondent Christiane Amanpour said that on Wednesday her car was surrounded by men banging on the sides and windows, and a rock was thrown through the windshield, shattering glass on the occupants. They escaped without injury.
  • A group of angry Egyptian men carjacked an ABC News crew and threatened to behead them on Thursday in the latest and most menacing attack on foreign reporters trying to cover the anti-government uprising. 
  • CNN’s Anderson Cooper said he, a producer and camera operator were set upon by people who began punching them and trying to break their camera. Cooper and team were targeted again on Thursday.
  • A photojournalist for CNN-IBN, Rajesh Bhardwaj, was detained in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. He was taken away by the Egyptian Army and later released, but only after his identification card and tapes were destroyed 
  • Fox Business Network’s Ashley Webster reported that security officials burst into a room where he and a camera operator were observing the demonstration from a balcony. They forced the camera inside the room.
  • Fox News Channel’s foreign correspondent Greg Palkot and producer Olaf Wiig were hospitalized in Cairo after being attacked by protestors.  
  • CBS News’ Katie Couric was harassed by protesters.
  • CBS newsman Mark Strassman said he and a camera operator were attacked as they attempted to get close to the rock-throwing and take pictures. The camera operator, whom he would not name, was punched repeatedly and hit in the face with Mace.  
  • CBS News’ Lara Logan, was detained along with her crew by Egyptian police outside Cairo’s Israeli embassy.
  • Two New York Times journalists have been arrested. (A Times spokeswoman said that the two journalists were “detained by military police overnight in Cairo and are now free.” )     
  • Washington Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl wrote Thursday that witnesses say Leila Fadel, the paper’s Cairo bureau chief, and photographer Linda Davidson “were among two dozen journalists arrested this morning by the Egyptian Military Police. They were later released.”  
  • Wall Street Journal photographer Peter van Agtmael said he was attacked Wednesday by a group of supporters of Mr. Mubarak near Tahrir Square.
  • BBC reported their correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes’ car was forced off the road in Cairo “by a group of angry men.” He was detained by the men, who handed him off to secret police agents who handcuffed and blindfolded him and an unnamed colleague and took them to an interrogation room. They were released after three hours. 
  • BBC reporter Wyre Davies in Alexandria – Attacked and driven off by locals several times in the past few days.
  • BBC foreign editor Jon Williams said via Twitter that security forces seized the network’s equipment in a Cairo Hilton hotel in an attempt to stop it broadcasting.
  • A Bloomberg News reporter was held by Egyptian authorities for 12 hours and then released
  • Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times of London said she was approached by a gang of men with knives in Imbaba, a poor neighborhood of Cairo. Another group of men, who also were strangers to her, pushed her into a store and locked it to protect her, she said.
  • Reporter Jean-Francois Lepine of Canada’s CBC all-French RDI network said that he and a cameraman were surrounded by a mob that began hitting them, until they were rescued by the Egyptian army.  
  • CBC Radio’s Margaret Evans was on air Thursday morning reporting that her crew’s camera equipment had been seized by police and that they were stuck in their hotel, reporting from a balcony that overlooked Tahrir Square.
  • The Toronto Globe and Mail said on its website that reporter Sonia Verma and Patrick Martin said the military had “commandeered us and our car” in Cairo. 
  • Two Associated Press correspondents were roughed up. 
  • Reuters’ Simon Hanna tweeted that a “gang of thugs” stormed the news organization’s Cairo office and smashed windows.
  • Voice Of America reporters in the capital were surrounded by several people who prevented them from traveling to Tahrir Square.
  • Vice magazine’s Cairo correspondent Rachel Pollock got roughed up trying to cover the protests.
  • David Degner, a Cairo-based photographer, said five of his journalist friends has been “beaten and had their equipment confiscated."
  • The AP reports that Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud, 36, an Egyptian journalist has died.  Mahmoud was taking photographs of fighting between protesters and security forces from the balcony of his home when he was shot Jan. 28, state-run newspaper Al-Ahram said on its website.
  • The head of Al Jazeera Arabic’s bureau in Cairo and another AJA journalist were detained in the Egyptian capital on Friday the 4th.
  • Andrew Burton, a photographer on assignment, wrote an account of being engulfed and beaten by a pro-Mubarak crowd.
  • The website of Belgium’s Le Soir newspaper said Belgian reporter Serge Dumont was beaten Wednesday. 
  • Jon Bjorgvinsson, a correspondent for RUV, Iceland’s national broadcaster, but on assignment for Swiss television in Cairo, was attacked on Tuesday as he and a crew were filming.
  • Danish media reported that Danish senior Middle East Correspondent Steffen Jensen was beaten today by pro-Mubarak supporters with clubs while reporting live on the phone.
  • Two Japanese freelance photographers were attacked while covering the protests in Cairo, and one of them was slightly injured, the Kyodo News agency reported.
  • A reporter for Turkey’s Fox TV, his Egyptian cameraman and their driver were abducted by men with knives while filming protests Wednesday, but Egyptian police later rescued them, said Anatolia, a Turkish news agency.
  • Turkey’s state broadcaster TRT, said its Egypt correspondent, Metin Turan, was beaten.
  • Several Turkish journalists were attacked by Mubarak supporters, according to news reports. Cumali Önal of Cihan News Agency and Doğan Ertuğrul of the Turkish Star Daily were attacked and beaten by pro-Mubarak supporters on Wednesday. Both were in stable condition.
  • The Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini said one of its reporters, Petros Papaconstantinou, was beaten by protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Papaconstantinou was clubbed in the head with a baton and stabbed in the foot, either with a knife or a screwdriver.
  • A Greek freelance photographer punched in the face by a group of men who stopped him on the street near Tahrir Square and smashed some of his equipment.
  • A correspondent and a cameraman working for Russia’s Zvezda television channel were detained by men in plainclothes and held overnight Tuesday, Anastasiya Popova of Vesti state television and radio said on air from Cairo.
  • French international news channel France 24 said three of its journalists had been detained while covering protests in Egypt and were being held by “military intelligence services."
  • Police arrested four Israeli journalists for allegedly violating the curfew in Cairo and for entering the country on tourist visas, according to news reports.
  • Al Jazeera reported Thursday that two of its reporters were attacked en route to Cairo airport, along with cameraman being assaulted near Tahrir Square.
  • Al-Arabiya correspondent, Ahmed Bajano, in Cairo, was beaten while covering a pro-Mubarak demonstration. Another unidentified correspondent was also attacked. Another network reporter said on the air that her colleague Ahmad Abdel Hadi was seized by what appeared to be pro-Mubarak supporters near Tahrir Square, forced in a car, and driven away.  
  • Men in plainclothes surrounded the office of Sawsan Abu Hussein, deputy editor of the Egyptian magazine October after she called in to a television program to report on violence against protesters. 
  • A group of men described as “plainclothes police” attacked the headquarters of the independent daily Al-Shorouk in Cairo today, the paper reported. Reporter Mohamed Khayal and photographer Magdi Ibrahim were injured.
  • The popular Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey has reportedly been arrested (it’s unclear by whom).
  • Swedish public broadcaster SVT reported that its correspondent in Egypt, Bert Sundström, is recovering from stab wounds to the stomach in a Cairo hospital. 

Additional acts of detention and/or violence were reported against Corban Costa of Brazilian Radio Nacional, cameraman Gilvan Rocha of TV Brasil, a reporter and a photographer for a Polish weekly, five journalists working for Polish state television TVP, three Romanian TV crews, Wally Nell, a photographer for the California-based Zuma Press agency, at least four contributors to Demotix, a U.K.-based citizen journalism website and photo agency, and NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro.

 
- The list was compiled by ABC’s Erin McGlaughlin and Joanna Suarez and others at ABC.