Eliminate the Witnesses: Committee toProtect Journalists Criticizes Mubarak’sPolicy of Attacking and Silencing Journalistsin Egypt
The Mubarak regime’s violent crackdown has included deliberate targeting of journalistscovering the protests across Egypt. News outlets including Al Jazeera, CBS News, ABC News,Fox News, CNN, BBC, the
New York Times
, Australian Broadcasting,Danish TV2 News and Swiss television have reported assaults, intimidation or arrests of their workers. We speak to Frank Smyth with the Committee to Protect Journalists, who reports therehas been a record of 100 attacks on journalists, 30 detentions, 26 assaults, and eight cases of media equipment seized. “This is worst case of the most blatant violence against the press thatI’ve seen in my 24 years or so reporting and my 10 years at CPJ,” Smyth says. “Clearly theMubarak regime is responsible. They are implementing a policy to eliminate witnesses to what isoccurring. It seems that the Mubarak regime is attempting to literally unplug Egypt from theworld.”
The Mubarak regime’s violent crackdown has included the deliberatetargeting of journalists covering the protests. News outlets including Al Jazeera, CBS, ABC, Fox,CNN, BBC,
New York Times
, Australian Broadcasting, Danish TV2 News andSwiss television have reported assaults, intimidation, arrests, car jacking. On Thursday, ABC News correspondent Brian Hartman said he and three colleagues were abducted while drivingfrom Cairo’s airport. They were taken to a compound, each threatened with decapitation.Hartman says the group was let go only after a Lebanese camera operator working for ABC pleaded for mercy.
Some journalists were arrested or had their equipment seized after theywere spotted covering the protests from buildings above the turmoil in the streets. InWashington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the crackdown.
SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON:
We condemn, in the strongest terms, attackson reporters covering the ongoing situation in Egypt. This is a violation of international normsthat guarantee freedom of the press and is unacceptable under any circumstances. We alsocondemn, in the strongest terms, attacks on peaceful demonstrators, human rights activists,foreigners and diplomats.