As counter- and pro-Mubarak government protests have become increasingly violent over the past few days in Egypt, foreign journalists have been harassed, beaten, arrested, and detained throughout the country. Most notably, CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported yesterday that his crew had been attacked; a Fox News reporter and producer were hospitalized after being targeted. Today, the State Department suggested that the Egyptian government may be involved in the campaign. Spokesperson PJ Crowley said today that “these do not seem to be random events”:
CROWLEY: There are very strong indications that this is part of a concerted effort. I can’t tell you who is directing it, but with the increasing number of instances of people roughed up, journalists’ cars attacked, offices broken into, journalists detained, these do not seem to be random events. […] I think at this stage we have information that has primarily come from you all which says that, in various interactions that you’ve had today, the Ministry of Interior personnel have been involved.
ABC News has compiled a sizable list of journalists “who have been in some way threatened, attacked or detained while reporting in Egypt,” which include the Washington Post’s Leila Fadel and CBS’s Lara Logan, both of whom spent considerable time reporting from Iraq.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said this afternoon that the crackdown on journalists “is a violation of international norms that guarantee freedom of the press and it is unacceptable under any circumstances. … The Egyptian government must demonstrate its willingness to ensure journalists’ ability to report on these events to the people of Egypt and to the world,” she said: