Journalists in Egypt Protests Targeted, Beaten, and Detained

bbc Journalists in Egypt Protests Targeted, Beaten, and DetainedEven with the Internet and some telecommunications down, many reports are coming out of Cairo that journalists are being targeted among the protestors by police.

Assad Sawey, a BBC journalist, was beaten by Egyptian police and then went on air in his bloodied shirt. When the police saw his camera, he was beaten and electrocuted with steel bars. Although he argued for transportation to a hospital, he said that other foreign journalists were being carted off in trucks to an unknown location.

The Guardian‘s Jack Schenker was punched repeatedly by plainclothes state security officers and high-ranking uniformed officers. He was captured with about 40 other protestors and dropped in the middle of the desert. He was only released because he happened to have been captured with a high-profile politician’s son who negotiated their release.

We were hustled towards a security office on the edge of the square. As I approached the doorway of the building other plainclothes security officers milling around took flying kicks and punches at me, pushing me to the floor on several occasions only to drag me back up and hit me again. I spotted a high-ranking uniformed officer, and shouted at him that I was a British journalist. He responded by walking over and punching me twice. “Fuck you and fuck Britain,” he yelled in Arabic.

AP photographer Nasser Gamil Nasser had his right cheekbone shattered when a policeman saw his camera and hurled a stone at his face.

Of course the violence is not reserved for international journalists. At least six Al-Masry al-Youm staffers have been roughed up, including Lina Attalah, the managing editor of Al-Masry al-Youm’s English edition. “Four policemen pulled me by my hair and kicked me in my face and back,” Attalah told the Committe to Protect Journalists. Al-Jazeera correspondent Mustafa Kafafi was also beaten, CPJ writes. Yesterday the English language weekly Al Ahram had firsthand reports from beaten and detained journalists but the site is down now.

kstoeffel@observer.com :: @kstoeffel

Article continues below
More from Politics
STAR OF DAVID OR 'PLAIN STAR'?   If you thought "CP Time" was impolitic, on July 2 Donald Trump posted a picture on Twitter of a Star of David on top of a pile of cash next to Hillary Clinton's face. You'd think after the aforementioned crime stats incident (or after engaging a user called "@WhiteGenocideTM," or blasting out a quote from Benito Mussolini, or...) Trump would have learned to wait a full 15 seconds before hitting the "Tweet" button. But not only was the gaffe itself bad, the attempts at damage control made the BP oil spill response look a virtuoso performance.  About two hours after the image went up on Trump's account, somebody took it down and replaced it with a similar picture that swapped the hexagram with a circle (bearing the same legend "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!"!). Believe it or not, it actually got worse from there. As reports arose that the first image had originated on a white supremacist message board, Trump insisted that the shape was a "sheriff's star," or "plain star," not a Star of David. And he continued to sulk about the coverage online and in public for days afterward, even when the media was clearly ready to move on. This refusal to just let some bad press go would haunt him later on.
Donald Trump More Or Less Says He’ll Keep On Tweeting as President