Foreign journalists are attacked by Mubarak's thugs
February 2nd, 2011 9:41 pm ET
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There are a little over 5,000 articles according to Google search which deal with the 'Mubarak' 'journalist' issue. The events which are unfolding in Tahrir Square in Cairo and other cities in Egypt have been compared to the fall of the Berlin Wall. And if the domino effect does take hold, we might be seeing history delivering another fall of the Iron Curtain, version 2.0.
Hosni Mubarak, despite having been prompted by President Obama and other world leaders to step down, is stubbornly refusing to give up his post as president. It is revealing in that it will be difficult to believe that he intends to leave in September as he promised, and the Egyptian people have made it abundantly clear that tonight would not be soon enough. As he began to realize that the man on the street was not appeased by his latest speech, Mubarak unleashed his ruthless thugs, the very same ones as those who beat Khaled Said to death, on his own people. Tough love?
The violence went further. Foreign journalists were a primary target on Wednesday as Mubarak wanted to put a lid on the bad publicity. The reports that have come in regarding injuries are astounding.
CNN's Anderson Cooper and his crew were approached by one group of demonstrators who supported Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the popular television host reported he was punched numerous times.
ABC's Christiane Amanpour and her news crew were attacked as well and claimed anti-American gestures were made by some demonstrators as they were filming. The U.S. news crew was able to drive away, but not before reportedly having their windshield smashed and doors kicked in by an angry mob
Four Israeli journalists arrested Wednesday morning in Cairo were released a few hours later following Foreign Ministry intervention.
Two Swedish reporters were held for hours on Wednesday by Egyptian soldiers accusing them of being Mossad spies, the reporters’ employer, the daily newspaper Aftonbladet, reported. The soldiers reportedly attacked the reporters, spitting in their faces and threatening to kill them.
A journalist for Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television reportedly suffered a concussion.
Belgian journalist Maurice Sarfatti, who writes under the name Serge Dumont and works for various newspapers, was beaten and arrested while on assignment in Cairo, according to a statement from Brussels-based Le Soir, which said he was being held by soldiers and accused of being a spy.
The Associated Press said two of its correspondents were roughed up covering a pro-Mubarak gathering.
Danish Middle East correspondent Steffen Jensen was beaten by pro-Mubarak supporters with clubs while reporting live on the phone to Danish TV2 News from Cairo, Danish media reported. Jensen, who was not seriously injured, said he was being held by soldiers and did not know the reason for his detention.
The BBC reported that its correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes was detained in Cairo by secret police agents who handcuffed and blindfolded him and an unnamed colleague and detained them for three hours.
Egyptian government spokeswoman Magdy Rady said the assertion of state involvement in street clashes and attacks on reporters was a 'fiction,' and that the government welcomed objective coverage. Mohamed Abdel Dayem, who is the Middle East and North Africa program coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists. said that the Egyptian government was using 'blanket censorship, intimidation, and today a series of deliberate attacks on journalists carried out by pro-government mob.'
It is no longer sufficient to continue condemning actions by Mubarak and his regime. Not when our citizens are being beaten, harassed, and brutalized into silence. The Egyptian police has been doing this for the last thirty years, - the journalists who are in Egypt trying to bring the story to the world are not being protected. Our administration needs to get in front of a microphone, or take a flight out to Cairo and rescue not only its citizens, but the millions of Egyptians who heard the call of Obama back when he delivered that lofty speech inn Cairo. We must recognize that we supported a tyrant for three decades, and it's time to recognize our error, without having any more people pay with their lives for the nightmare to end.