Tuesday, February 15, 2011

CBS News: Lara Logan beaten and sexually assaulted in Egypt by Tahrir Square mob

By Lisa de Moraes and Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, February 15, 2011; 8:15 PM

Lara Logan, CBS News's chief foreign correspondent, is back in the United States after being beaten and sexually assaulted by a mob in Tahrir Square last week while covering the celebrations surrounding the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, CBS News said Tuesday.

"On Friday, February 11, the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down . . . Logan was covering the jubilation in Tahrir Square for a '60 Minutes' story when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amid the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into a frenzy," the network said in its statement.

The network said that Logan is in an American hospital recovering from her injuries, the extent of which has not been disclosed. CBS News also did not disclose the name of the hospital. But a source who has knowledge of the situation said Logan has returned to her home.

"I doubt if we'll ever find out" who her attackers were, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Some at CBS likened the assault to the "wilding" that occurred in New York's Central Park in 2000, when at least seven women were attacked and some were sexually abused by a wild, cheering mob after a parade.

When Logan returned Saturday to the United States, she was described as being in shock and not speaking, the source added.

"In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She 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," CBS News said in its unusually detailed statement that was e-mailed to the media on Tuesday afternoon.

After the attack, Logan rejoined her CBS News team, returned to her hotel and then returned to the United States, the network said.

CBS News said it had no further comment.

Logan has reported from numerous foreign locales as a reporter, including Iraq and Afghanistan. The South African native has regularly risked her life while following U.S. troops into combat.

Logan, 39, joined CBS in 2002. Her husband is Joe Burkett, a defense contractor; they met in Baghdad while she was covering the war. Logan and Burkett own a home in Washington.

International reporters came under attack during the protests in Egypt by assailants apparently aligned with the Mubarak regime, but the assaults appeared to diminish with Mubarak's departure from power Friday.

Among the dozens of correspondents who were harassed or physically assaulted: CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who was punched repeatedly before retreating to the safety of his hotel; ABC correspondent Christiane Amanpour, whose car was surrounded by men and sprayed with glass when a rock was thrown through the windshield; and CBS News's Katie Couric, who was confronted by protesters and left the country.

And Egyptian news journalist Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud was shot to death Jan. 28 while photographing a clash between protesters and security forces.

On Feb. 3, news sources reported that Logan and her crew had been detained by Egyptian police outside Cairo's Israeli Embassy and that she had been taken to the airport the next morning and expelled from the country.

Her detention came shortly after Logan reported on the stepped-up efforts by Mubarak's regime to crack down on foreign journalists covering the protests.

CBS declined to discuss Logan's detention and expulsion at that time, telling the media that for security reasons, it would not comment on personnel activity or location.

On Feb. 11, the same day Logan was sexually assaulted and beaten, according to CBS, she told an Esquire magazine blog, the Politics, that she had returned to Cairo that day, just as Mubarak was leaving.

"Lara Logan, you see, is not afraid," Esquire reported on Feb. 11.

"There's no doubt in my mind that the situation we were caught in before, we are now arriving into again," she told the blog that day.

As she rang off, the blogger asked her one last question: "Is CBS insured for this [expletive]? Are you insane?"

"You know, I don't worry about things like that," she responded with characteristic bravado.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home