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French journalist reports facing sexual assault in Egypt's Tahrir Square

French correspondent for France 24 told AFP she was sexually assaulted during opposition protests on Friday

AFP, Sunday 21 Oct 2012
Sonia Dridi
Sonia Dridi, correspondent for France 24
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A French female television reporter was sexually assaulted during a protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square, she told AFP on Saturday, the latest of such attacks on women covering unrest in Egypt.

Sonia Dridi, a correspondent for France 24, said a mob of mostly young men surrounded her on Friday while she was on the air and then began to grope her. The attack lasted several minutes before a male colleague managed to pull her out.

"I was groped everywhere. I realised (later), when someone closed my shirt, that it was opened, but not torn off," she said.

"I avoided the worst because I have a good belt" and a friend helped her out, said the reporter, who eventually found refuge in a fast food restaurant.

"While she was speaking live from the Egyptian capital ... (she was) violently attacked and savagely assaulted by the crowd," France 24 television said in a statement.

The channel added that Dridi was rescued by her colleague Ashraf Khalil, who works as an English-language correspondent, and by other bystanders.

France 24 said the journalists were "extremely shocked" and would file a complaint. The channel said it was doing all it could to get Dridi back to France and had contacted the French embassy in Cairo.

In the past, police have not succeeded in apprehending suspects after similar attacks on women in the protest hub.

The harassment of women -- veiled or not -- is commonplace on Cairo streets, including obscene remarks and rude gestures.

Recently, witnesses at Tahir Square have reported increasingly serious assaults, even rapes, without getting a reaction from authorities.

In June, a group of men attacked and sexually assaulted several protesters in a women's march against sexual harassment in Tahrir, epicentre of the uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak early last year.

The assaults, which female protesters and journalists say are commonplace in Tahrir Square, had gained notoriety after US journalist Lara Logan was sexually assaulted there on 11 February, 2011, the day Mubarak resigned.

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Jamlia
22-10-2012 03:55am
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Women's rights have been set back centuries since Morsi has been elected.
Sharia is the worst possible protection for women. Human rights, recognition and a justice system that treats women as equals is a step in the right direction. I despair for Egypt's future.
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Seham
21-10-2012 07:02pm
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Next time chosoe who you bring to tahreer
It seems that protestants went last Friday had different goals than social justice and they wanted to attract any number of people to let us imagine that there was a million and even when political parties were left alone without MB,they fought together because everyone of them wants the cake for himself simple Egyptians understood that it was a hate protest from sore losers last election please go back to the chanting
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Aisha
21-10-2012 06:48pm
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when will we wake up from our ghafla?
Another disgrace ! Islamic shariyah is the only solution. When we obey Allah He will fix our countries problems and give us mercy.
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Nora
21-10-2012 06:15pm
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Why there is so much violence against women?
Google has posted the video for the attack against France24 news anchor. You can't bring your self to watch it. It is awful. What happens to the opposition (the Left, Liberal, and past regime supporters). I thought you care about women rights. I hope that the President will apply the Sharia so such attackers will be stoned. MB demonstrations do not have such thugs.
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