Supporters of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak attacked pro-democracy protesters and targeted journalists in Cairo on Wednesday. The Cutline reported yesterday on pro-Mubarak mobs going after journalists from CNN, CBS, ABC and numerous international news outlets.
The media crackdown seems to be accelerating today. So far, there have been several reports on Twitter indicating that pro-Mubarak mobs have attacked journalists and bloggers—and that some journalists have also been arrested by Mubarak’s much-feared police force.
But it’s not only the police arresting members of the media. The AP reports that the Egyptian military is rounding up journalists, with correspondent Hadeel Al-Shalchi tweeting that two New York Times journalists have been arrested. (A Times spokeswoman said that the two journalists were “detained by military police overnight in Cairo and are now free.” )
Also, Washington Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl wrote today that witnesses say Leila Fadel, the paper’s Cairo bureau chief, and photographer Linda Davidson “were among two dozen journalists arrested this morning by the Egyptian Interior Ministry.” (They were later released).
It’s not clear why the army is now detaining journalists, but it might be for their own protection from the violent, pro-Mubarak mobs who are out again today.
The AP reported today that Mubarak supporters stabbed a Greek journalist with a screwdriver and punched a freelance photographer. Also, Al Jazeera reported today that two of its reporters were attacked en route to Cairo airport, along with cameraman being assaulted near Tahrir Square.
“There is a concerted campaign to intimidate international journalists in Cairo and interfere with their reporting,” State Dept. spokesman Philip Crowley wrote on Twitter. “We condemn such actions.”
The White House has also condemned attacks against journalists. “The administration strongly condemns the violence today and strongly condemns violence against journalists in Egypt,” press secretary Robert Gibbs told The Cutline Wednesday.