Star female US reporter sexually assaulted in Egypt

AFP, Wednesday 16 Feb 2011

Lara Logan of the CBS news network says she was sexually assaulted and beaten while covering the January 25 revolution in Tahrir Square.

Top CBS foreign correspondent Lara Logan suffered a "brutal" sexual assault at the hands of a mob in Egypt while covering the downfall of president Hosni Mubarak, the network said Tuesday.

Logan, 39, was in Cairo's central Tahrir Square on Friday, the day Mubarak stepped down, and was separated from her crew in the crowd, CBS said in a statement.

"She and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into a frenzy," CBS said. "In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew."

Logan "was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers."

She was flown to the United States the next day and "is currently in the hospital recovering," the statement said.

South African-born Logan has covered the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, becoming one of the US media's most recognizable war correspondents. She became CBS News chief foreign correspondent in 2006.

On February 2 Logan reported from Alexandria that soldiers and plainclothes agents prevented her and her crew from filming in the street, and marched them at gunpoint to their hotel.

"We were accused of being more than journalists," Logan reported. "Very frightening suggestions were being made, suggestions that could be very dangerous for us."

At least 140 reporters since January 30 have been injured or killed while covering the Egypt protests, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said.
The group said it was "alarmed" by the news of the assault on Logan.

"We have seen Lara's compassion at work while helping journalists who have faced brutal aggression while doing their jobs," CPJ Chairman Paul Steiger said. "She is a brilliant, courageous, and committed reporter."

Logan is a CPJ member that oversees an aid program supporting journalists around the world who have been victims of violence and repression.

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