In the last two days, the fight for freedom in Egypt, which already was a mixed bag, has spun out of control. Violence is taking center stage, and now there is an “all-out witch-hunt against media,” according to Reporters Without Borders:
“Theft, violence, arbitrary arrests and extreme violence… the list of abuses against journalists by President Mubarak’s supporters is getting longer by the hour and they are clearly systematic and concerted,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Jean-François Julliard said.
“After shutting down the Internet and then reconnecting it at the start of this week, the regime has decided to target media personnel physically by unleashing its supporters in an unprecedented campaign of hatred and violence. This has gone beyond censorship. This is now about ridding Cairo of all journalists working for foreign news media.
“We urge all news media to reinforce their coordination in order to provide as much security as possible for their correspondents in Egypt. And we urge foreign governments and their embassies to provide the utmost diplomatic support for journalists from their countries when they find themselves in difficulty.”
Julliard added: “It seems that journalists are no longer safe anywhere in Cairo. Several news bureaux have also been attacked. The highest level of the Egyptian government must be held responsible for this policy of physical attacks. We urge the international community to adopt a strong unanimous position quickly, to draw the appropriate conclusions from the events of the past few days and to consider sanctions.”
Among those attacked Thursday were ABC News reporter Brian Hartman and crew. They were threatened with beheading.