At least four journalists have been confirmed dead in violent clashes following the Egyptian police's dispersal on Wednesday of two large Cairo sit-ins in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
British Sky News cameraman Mick Deane, 61, was shot dead while on duty at the Rabaa Al-Adawiya sit-in. The rest of the Sky News team along with Middle East correspondent Sam Kiley, who were with Deane in Rabaa, are unharmed.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron was quick to express his condolences through via Twitter.
“I am saddened to hear of the death of cameraman Mick Deane, covering Egyptian violence. My thoughts are with his family and Sky News team,” Cameron tweeted.
Mick is lived by his wife and two sons.
XPRESS Egyptian journalist Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, 26, was shot dead in Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square early Wednesday.
Gulf News, a sister publication of Dubai based XPRESS, expressed sadness over Abd Elaziz’s death. They reported that she was not on an official assignment, but had gone home on an annual leave. Abd Elaziz’s Facebook account shows she was a Morsi supporter and was in Rabaa as a protester.
XPRESS deputy editor Mazhar Farooqui told Gulf News that the entire XPRESS team is in a state of shock. “It’s hard to believe she’s gone. She was passionate about her work and had a promising career ahead.”
Rassd news website (RNN), an alternative pro-Islamist media network, also reported on Wednesday that their photojournalist Mosab El-Shami had been shot dead in Cairo.
“Rassd congratulates with the utmost pride the family of photographer Mosab El-Shami, the martyr of Egyptian freedom and dignity, who was killed by the hand of betrayal while covering the Rabaa massacre at the hands of those who executed the coup,” wrote the network on its Facebook page.
Journalist Ahmed Abdel Gawad, who wrote for the state-run newspaper Al Akhbar, was killed while covering the crackdown at Rabaa, according to the Associated Press. The Egyptian Press Syndicate, a journalist union, confirmed Gawad's death, though it had no other information about how he was killed.
Reuters reported that their photographer, Asmaa Waguih, was shot in the foot while covering the Rabaa dispersal. The news agency stated that Waguih received treatment shortly afterwards.
Correspondent for the Daily Beast Mike Giglio was at Rabaa’s front lines when the police briefly arrested him.
“Arrested, beaten by security forces and then held at a local arena,” Giglio said via Twitter.
The police took his laptop, opened it on the scene and punched him until he gave them the password, he later wrote. His wallet and mobile were also confiscated and not returned, according to the Daily Beast reporter.
Freelance Egyptian photojounralist Mahmoud Abou Zeid was detained with him and Giglio believed he has still not been released.
“Authorities knew full well that I’m a journalist while arresting me today. It actually seemed to get me some extra punches,” Giglio added.
Ahram Online’s reporter Bel Trew described the police and military storming of Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya earlier on Wednesday as complete “chaos” saying via Twitter that she "can't tell where the bullets are coming from,” adding she just keeps “ducking.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has issued a statement grieving the death of Sky News’s Deane.
“We call on Egyptian authorities to issue clear orders to security forces to respect the right of journalists to work freely and safely while covering events in Cairo and the rest of the country,” said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney.
Last week, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression reported two journalists killed and 21 cases of assault against journalists in Egypt from 26 June to 27 July 2013 since mass demonstrations began for and against former president Mohamed Morsi.
Journalists have been the target of attacks since the January 25 revolution in 2011 under the rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and under Morsi.