Reporters targeted by Egypt’s pro-Mubarak mobs

By David Edwards
Thursday, February 3, 2011 10:00 EDT
google plus icon
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

ABC News releases comprehensive list of journalists

ABC News released Thursday a comprehensive list of journalists that had either been threatened or detained while working in Egypt over recent days.

Original reported follows…

Army reportedly starts rounding up journalists

In recent days, reporters have become targets in Egypt. Western journalists have been roughed up by pro-Mubarak demonstrators, and reporters from around the world have been arrested or detained by Egyptian security forces.

Al Jazeera reported Sunday that six of their journalists were arrested.

“Special military units have just raided the hotel where our journalists from Al Jazeera English were operating,” Al Jazeera reporter Clayton Swisher told ABC News.

Swisher said that while the reporters were later released, the government kept their news recording equipment.

On Wednesday, four Israeli journalists were arrested for allegedly violating curfew and entering Cairo on tourist visas.

But the situation may be the most dangerous for Western reporters.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper explained Wednesday that pro-Mubarak forces had attacked him and his crew.

“We had, I mean, literally a mob of people surround us just, you know, I got punched in the head probably a good ten times or so,” he said on CNN Wednesday morning.

“I know exactly who is attacking us, it’s the pro-Mubarak forces, no doubt about it,” he added.

ABC’s Christiane Amanpour faced similar treatment Wednesday. While trying to talk to Mubarak supporters, she was threatened and told to turn back. Upon retreating, she had the windshield of her car broken with a rock.

“There’s a real anti-Western reporter sentiment there,” ABC’s Robin Roberts noted Thursday. “Is there still that sense?”

“The pro-Mubarak supporters have been against the journalists,” Amanpour replied. “Partly this is because the state television, some of the local press, the state press, has been blaming journalists. And a statement from the Foreign Ministry was issued overnight saying, this uprising against Mubarak, is, quote, a foreign conspiracy, led by international journalists. So, those people who been aggressive towards us are not the anti-Mubarak demonstrators. They’re the pro-regime thugs and agitators that have been sent in to disrupt the protests.”

CNN’s Hala Gorani and CBS anchor Katie Couric also had to flee from pro-Mubarak demonstrators.

Serge Dumont, a Belgian journalist, was reportedly detained and beaten by men in plain clothes Wednesday.

As late as Thursday, there were reports that the Egyptian Army had begun to round up journalists, alleging it was for their own protection. Two correspondents from The New York Times were reportedly detained.

The Washington Post also reported having reporters arrested Thursday.

“We have heard from multiple witnesses that Leila Fadel, our Cairo bureau chief, and Linda Davidson, a photographer, were among two dozen journalists arrested this morning by the Egyptian Interior Ministry,” foreign editor Douglas Jehl wrote.

This video is from ABC’s Good Morning America, broadcast Feb. 3, 2011.

Watch this video on iPhone/iPad

This video is from The Associated Press, broadcast Feb. 3, 2011.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
  • Hassan i Sabbah

    “the big thug must go.”

  • Hassan i Sabbah

    Obama is a pansy.

  • Hassan i Sabbah

    You need to start using quotation marks.

  • Anonymous

    this list of reporters threatened and attacked/arrested etc is enormous and shocking.

    Mubarak and his henchmen must go! solidarity with the egyptian people!! down with all dictatorships in the arab/moslem world.

    obama, get rid of this dictator!! you guys kept him in office for 30 years and now it’s time to put him on a plane…..

  • Anonymous

    was there ever really much doubt…

    “Dominic: What do you think will happen?
    Finch: What usually happens when people without guns stand up to people with guns.”

    - from the movie V for Vendetta

  • Anonymous

    “….Dominic: What do you think will happen?
    Finch: What usually happens when people without guns stand up to people with guns….”

    - from the movie V for Vendetta

  • Anonymous

    Bwaahhaahaa, nice reception in Cairo for U.S. lamestream journolister hacks. Run, rabbit! Who needs ya?

  • Johnny Warbucks

    WTF are you, the Grammar Nazi?

  • Johnny Warbucks

    None and they never will. FAUX is the state media. Didn’t you see that in action in Egypt during the protests?

  • Johnny Warbucks

    You need to start capitalizing the beginning of sentences.

  • Anonymous

    The dose of stupid in this statement is toxic. You think it’s a GOOD thing for a repressive authoritarian state to impede journalists and harass and threaten them? You can’t possibly be an American.

  • Anonymous

    First the pro-Mubarak thugs beat up reporters and then, the military starts rounding them up “to protect” them. Anything than happens on the streets of Cairo is the military’s doing – whether doing nothing when things are going the way they want or doing something to hasten things along.

    Today, it appears that they are trying to shut down all outside reporting in preparations for “clearing the streets”. I doubt that they can contain all the reporting, but “live” feeds will likely be curtailed. In any case, it’s all the military’s doing and has been for decades.

  • Anonymous

    True dat.

  • Anonymous

    Weren’t there similar reports of the US military attacking and killing reporters from al-Jazeera and other outlets during the Iraq war; Wasn’t a translator attaché to the New York Times shot and killed; didn’t the most notorious early wikileaks film show an American helicopter attacking and killing a Reuter’s journalist and his camera-man?

    Perhaps the same people who ran those operations are helping to direct the actions of Mubarak, and his right wing vigilante thugs who are ruthlessly wandering through the crowds smashing demonstrators heads with various clubs and other heavy objects, or maybe he just watched what Americans did in Iraq and learned from that example.

    In any event the French Revolution of 1789, when women began a revolution by marching daily through the streets of Paris demanding bread for their families; the actions taken by vigilantes working in conjunction with the secret police against the crowds demanding change against the right wing dictatorship depicted in the film “Z” (1969) inspired by events in Greece in the early to mid 60s, which itself at the time resonated with many anti-war demonstrators in America who had suffered similar treatment at the hands of off-duty police and right wing thugs from such organizations as “support your local police” who also roamed the crowds of demonstrators busting heads and creating havoc and chaos; and the treatment of the press by the American military and other forces operating in Iraq during Rumsfeld’s conduct of the war there, are earlier events with which I find the current situation in Egypt resonates.

  • Anonymous

    I think you are being too hard on the Fox Entertainment Channel. They are only doing what they believe to be in the best interests of the status quo in Egypt, which is not surprising in the least given their formerly and repeatedly demonstrated right wing political stance and management.

    Fox’s reporting should come as no surprise to those of who participated in earlier demonstrations right here in America. During the anti-war demonstrations in throughout the late 60s and the early 70s, the mainstream media in America, which then consisted exclusively of NBC, ABC, and CBS consistently depicted those of us demonstrating against the war here in exactly the same negative, demeaning, and despicable way.

    And whenever a rouge reporter got off message as one would once in a while, Nixon sent out his then Vice President, and later convicted felon, Spiro Agnew to chastise and denigrate the whole media for not looking objectively at the criminals marching through the streets of America creating chaos and wreaking havoc and disrupting out ability to win the war in Vietnam. The problem with so many people today is that they have no historical perspective so everything is new. But it ain’t; and America is no more democratic than Egypt under Mubarak, and given the same circumstances, Americans would be getting their heads bashed in by teaparty activists turned vigilantes working in conjunction with local undercover police and those who resisted would be injured and bloody and as many as possible would be rounded up and held without bail and most of the press in this country except for DemocracyNow and a few bloggers and maybe (and I do mean maybe) a couple of reporters on MSNBC (this is questionable under the current Comcast ownership) would offer a more sympathetic view and attempt to show police and vigilante brutality, but that would be about it. And of course, The Fox Entertainment Channel would be leading the dastardly pack.

    I’ve already seen all this once and I still have a scar running down one side of my face from a blow from an undercover cop in 1970, I was lucky, I wasn’t hospitalized as some of my friends were, so I have no idealistic expectations about how any of this would end if it were to occur in America. That’s why I laugh about those who talk about America and how they think Americans should do the same thing. I say good luck, been there, done that, this is all déjà vu for me! I really can’t look at the pictures without sleepless nights, night sweats, and nightmares.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/6EX2KJ7LSZMDCBZWCH62Q7CABY Sandra

    In reading your post…. how are you getting “right wing” out of this? Actually, you haven’t been consistent with your definition of left/right wing for quite some time.

  • Anonymous

    Which of these groups do you think are left wing:

    The US Military? (I am not referring to individuals in the US military who will always claim to be following orders anyway and who may or may not be skinheads– I mean the military and their policies.)

    The vigilante thugs working for Mubarak or his military or secret police?

    The right wing thugs in the movie “Z” who shot the opposition candidate and ran through the crowds clubbing demonstrators?

    The undercover cops in America and their supporters who did the same thing to the anti-war demonstrators during the Vietnam war?

    Which of these authoritarian groups do you think are leftists.

  • Anonymous


    You didn’t really think that a couple million poor and starving people demonstrating in Egypt were going to take down the current global power structure did you?

    Tell me you didn’t actually believe that!

    And not “all” of us have been “had” either. I always thought these people if they weren’t being manipulated by other global forces, which as I continually note is still unclear, would be lucky if they could at least bring attention to their plight and perhaps generate some government subsidies to help them pay for the food that they otherwise could not afford. But under the current world-wide right wing austerity paradigm, I even thought that would be a miracle. And I wasn’t alone.

    My friends and I have marveled daily at just how utopic most younger Americans following these demonstrations (I hesitate to call it a movement because other than food and the ouster of Mubarak, its hard to say what this loosely organized group of people want) have become and how misplaced all that hope was.

    Many of us who are over fifty knew that it was just a matter of time before the press was curtailed; heads started being busted in, and people were rounded up, jailed and tortured. I was actually amazed that it was allowed to continue as long as it was. Personally, I think the powers that be wanted it to subside of its own volition the way a spinning top eventually slows and falls over on itself. But they eventually grew tired of waiting. So…now we have this! But make no mistake, this, whatever it is, will be crushed. And in six months the people who couldn’t afford food in December still won’t be able to afford food. That’s the real tragedy. When this is over nothing will have changed except some people’s faces will have more scars and some people will be dead.

    And for those wondering, without getting too theoretical, Goldman Sachs has a division devoted to commodities and they have been driving up food prices worldwide for the last 7-10 years. This activity by Goldman Sachs and the effects of it on government cost of living increases might well be why our government stopped including food prices in their inflation calculator. I have not seen any stories actually linking the two but Harper’s magazine ran an article in July of last year entitled, “The Food Bubble: How Wall Street Starved Millions and Got Away with It” by Frederick Kaufman (the same issue BTW, that broke the story on how corrupt, bankrupt, and despicable the right wing government of Arizona was in another story called “Tea Party In The Sonora: For the Future of G.O.P. Governance, Look to Arizona” by Ken Slverstein). (I think you can purchase these stories individually at Harper’s website).

    Matt Taibbi used the same information, made basically the same argument, and came to the same conclusions in a chapter entitled “Blowout: The Commodities Bubble” in “Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That is Breaking America.” (2010).

    The information is out there.