“The Egyptian revolution is not going to be as easy and TV-friendly as hoped. This doesn’t mean that reporters are going to stop covering it. But, at least for the moment, the journalistic tactics will probably start resembling those used during the bad days of the Iraq War.”
From the Committee to Protect Journalists
- CNN’s Anderson Cooper and his crew were attacked by pro-Mubarak supporters in Tahrir Square.
- 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 to Danish TV2 News from Cairo. The attackers demanded his phone and passport. Jensen said he is currently being held by soldiers in Tahrir Square. He said he does not know if the soldiers are holding him for safety reasons or if he is being officially detained
- Ahmed Bajano, an Al-Arabiya correspondent in Cairo, was beaten while covering a pro-Mubarak demonstration, according to news reports. Bajano and his camera crew were attacked in Mustafa Mahmoud Square by men in plainclothes. He suffered a concussion and was taken to a nearby hospital. Another Al-Arabiya journalist who spoke on the air via telephone but did not identify herself by name also reported that she had been beaten by plainclothes police or government-hired thugs.The BBC reported that its correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes’ car was forced off the road in Cairo “by a group of angry men.” He has 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.
The Egyptian government is employing a strategy of eliminating witnesses to their actions…the government has resorted to blanket censorship, intimidation, and today a series of deliberate attacks on journalists carried out by pro-government mobs. The situation is frightening not only because our colleagues are suffering abuse but because when the press is kept from reporting, we lose an independent source of crucial information
-Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator