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World Journalist Dead, 1 Raped, More Attacked In Egypt

Tejwant Singh

Jun 30, 2004
Henderson, NV.
Journalist dead, 1 raped, more attacked in Egypt

New York, July 1, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned about the security of journalists covering ongoing mass protests in Egypt. One journalist was killed and seven others were injured, including one raped, while covering demonstrations against President Mohamed Morsi over the weekend, according to news reports.

In response to the mass protests, the Egyptian army demanded today that Morsi must address demonstrators' demands or face intervention within 48 hours, according to news reports.

"Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have fostered an atmosphere where journalists are attacked with impunity," said Sherif Mansour, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa coordinator. "We call on all sides to respect the safety of the media and urge journalists to take precautions for their security in this dangerous climate."

Millions of Egyptians took to the streets over the weekend to seek Morsi's resignation. At least 16 people were killed and 781 injured across the country on Sunday alone, according the Ministry of Health said, according to news reports.

On Saturday, Salah al-Din Hassan, 37-year-old reporter with independent news website Shaab Masr (Egyptian People), was killed by a homemade bomb thrown by an unidentified person while covering a demonstration against Morsi in the city of Port Said, the website reported. The bomb was hurled at protesters in Shuhada Square; Hassan picked it up to throw it away but it exploded, killing him and injuring 16 others, according to news reports. Ayda Sobh, Hassan's mother, blamed Morsi's supporters for hurling the bomb, according to the reports.

On the same day, unidentified assailants threw Molotov {censored}tails and beat a group of journalists, including correspondents for private satellite television stations, who were meeting at two cafés to prepare for covering the demonstrations in Suez governorate, according to news reports. The assailants chanted anti-media slogans as they attacked, Khalid al-Balshy, a board member of the Egyptian Journalists' Syndicate, told CPJ. The journalists' equipment, including cameras and laptops, was destroyed, according to al-Balshy. Three journalists--Mohamed Kamal of Al-Youm Al-Saba'a newspaper, Ragaei al-Attar of website Suez News, and Karim Anwar of Al-Badil newspaper--were beaten and hospitalized, according to news reports.

On Sunday, reporters Ahmed Ragab and Ahmed Al Nagar with the daily Al-Masry Al-Youm were hit by birdshot while covering attempts by protesters to burn the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo, the paper reported. Brotherhood members inside the building in Mokattam shot live ammunition and rubber bullets and threw Molotov {censored}tails out of the windows at anti-Morsi protesters, killing eight, according to news reports. Seventy people were injured, the reports said.

Also Sunday, Al-Arabiya news TV reported that Morsi supporters gathered in Raba'a Al-'Adawiyya Square in Nasr City forced its crew to leave the square.

Today, a group of unidentified assailants beat Omar Zoheiry, a photographer with the daily Al-Watan, at Mohammad Mahmoud Street near Tahrir Square, according to news reports. All of his equipment was stolen, the reports said. He suffered injuries across his body and was hospitalized for treatment.

Also today, the Dutch embassy in Cairo said in a statement that a 22-year-old Dutch woman was repatriated after being attacked Friday evening in Tahrir Square. According to Egyptian news reports, the woman was a television reporter who was raped by unidentified men as she tried to cover the beginnings of the protests. A state hospital issued a statement on Sunday saying the woman was hospitalized for two days and had to undergo surgery. Egyptian authorities are investigating, according to the Dutch embassy's statement.

CPJ-The Committee to Protect Journalists

Some Questions:

1. How can the Journalists protect themselves from these kinds of atrocities?
2. Why is it important for the foreign journalists to take these risks in order to bring us the news?
3. Is this job a calling, a thirst for fame or just a thrill seeking venture? Please opine.
4. What is the future of the journalists in this bullet train speed moving world events?
5. How has social media changed the news gathering and the news consumption?
6. Any future journalists amidst the crowd in here? Please come forward and share your views.

Thanks in advance for your indulgence.
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