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CBS Reporter Lara Logan Speaks About Assault in Tahrir Square

CBS Reporter Lara Logan Speaks About Assault in Tahrir Square

Lara Logan, CBS’ chief foreign news correspondent, returned to work this month, just over two months after she was brutally assaulted in Tahrir Square in Cairo on February 11th, the night that Hosni Mubarak stepped down from power. She will be appearing on the CBS News program “60 Minutes” this Sunday night and speaking about the assault after which, according to the New York Times, “she does not intend to give other interviews on the subject.” As Logan says:

“I don’t want this to define me.”

In the New York Times, Logan describes the assault she suffered by an estimated 200 to 300 men, on a night when Cairo was “on fire with celebration”:

She and a camera crew traversed Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the celebrations, interviewing Egyptians and posing for photographs with people who wanted to be seen with an American journalist.

“There was a moment that everything went wrong,” she recalled.

As the cameraman, Richard Butler, was swapping out a battery, Egyptian colleagues who were accompanying the camera crew heard men nearby talking about wanting to take Ms. Logan’s pants off. She said: “Our local people with us said, ‘We’ve gotta get out of here.’ That was literally the moment the mob set on me.”

Mr. Butler, Ms. Logan’s producer, Max McClellan, and two locally hired drivers were “helpless,” Mr. Fager said, “because the mob was just so powerful.” A bodyguard who had been hired to accompany the team was able to stay with Ms. Logan for a brief period of time. “For Max to see the bodyguard come out of the pile without her, that was one of the worst parts,” Mr. Fager said. He said Ms. Logan “described how her hand was sore for days after — and the she realized it was from holding on so tight” to the bodyguard’s hand.

They estimated that they were separated from her for about 25 minutes.

“My clothes were torn to pieces,” Ms. Logan said.

She declined to go into more detail about the assault but said: “What really struck me was how merciless they were. They really enjoyed my pain and suffering. It incited them to more violence.”

Logan was rescued by a group of civilians and Egyptian soldiers and quickly flown back to the US where she was hospitalized. She decided almost immediately to speak out about sexual violence on behalf of other journalists and women and notes that, prior to the assault, she had not known about the “the levels of harassment and abuse that women in Egypt and other countries regularly experienced.” Commenting on the kindness of CBS and strangers, including high schoolers in Texas, Logan says that such communications were “very big part of picking myself up and restoring my dignity and my self-worth.”

Logan says that, while she plans to return to report from Afghanistan and other conflict zones, she will not be returning to the Middle East in the immediate future. As she says:

“The very nature of what we do — communicating information — is what’s undoing these regimes [in the Middle East]. It makes us the enemy, whether we like it or not.”

Thank you, Lara Logan, for your bravery and what you do, speaking up, “communicating information” and thereby, yes, “undoing these regimes.”

 

Previous Care2 Coverage

Attack On Lara Logan Unleashes Victim-Blaming and Islam-Bashing

CBS Reporter Lara Logan Sexually Assaulted in Cairo

 

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61 comments

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2:46AM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

Brave one!

9:19AM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

Thank you, Ms. Logan. You are a Hero in so many ways.

11:14AM PDT on Jun 15, 2011

i am humbled by ms logan's bravery and composure

8:45AM PDT on Jun 15, 2011

I'm always glad to see stupidness is so democratically distributed, I mean how stupid can you be to assault the one reporter that actually may send out a different message about your country and how you are to her fellow citizens?
Is there no islam tradition or law or something to have public choppie choppie dickie dickie on men who sexually assault women? I mean, there's public beheadings, chopping of fingers and so in some countries... I'm in favor for choppie choppie dickie dickie... I'm sure there must be references to this in some holy books. Who's with me?

10:24PM PDT on May 11, 2011

It hasn't been established why she was attacked, only that it was a brutal sexual assault. Her husband being a defense contractor makes her a target - they get US TV news and the internet in Egypt and it is very easy to find that connection. It is naive to assume that this couldn't be a potential danger to her. Who do you think has been funding the murderous regime of Mubarak and his security forces there all these years? Just being a US media spokesperson can make you a target enough. According to Noam Chomsky and many others, most of the middle east thinks the US is the greatest threat they face. That's the reality on the ground. It is terrible what happened to her. I am well aware of the misogyny that exists in parts of the culture there, but that said, she had every right to be there. At least CBS should have provided more protection given the volatility of the situation.

1:36AM PDT on May 5, 2011

James J, the physical evidence includes her clothes being ripped off her, her body being covered by bruises that are consistent with her having been beaten, slapped, pinched, and beaten with poles:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1358944/Lara-Logan-attack-Stripped-punched-whipped-flag-poles.html

Just the ripping of her clothes off qualifies as sexual assault all by itself. The hotel doctor at the Four Seasons was one of the physicians who examined and treated her. As for details of her actual rape (i.e., penetration by fingers or other objects), that evidence has not been released. But none of the doctors who treated her have contradicted her statement.

This is the last time I'll discuss this with you, unless you can present evidence beyond your own paranoid skepticism for discounting her statement of what happenned. The facts are out there, if you care to look for them. It's thoroughly disgusting that there are people like you who would accuse a victim of such a horrendous experience of lying about it, without one iota of evidence of such lying. Especially when there is no shortage of witnesses to the event.

12:16AM PDT on May 5, 2011

Charles Wallace, what actual physical evidence of a rape is there in this case? Can you cite any of these doctors?

4:13PM PDT on May 4, 2011

@James J: "Charles Wallace, what actual physical evidence of a rape is there in this case?"

The same physical evidence that is present in ANY rape case, James. Ms. Logan was examined and treated by doctors, and none of them even suggested she was not assaulted and penetrated against her will. Her injuries not only were consistent with what she says happenned, but the assualt was witnessed by hundreds of people, including those who rescued her.

Dan Rather didn't "make up a story" about Bush national guard records, not did he "fake" the documents. In actual fact, everything Rather reported about Bush's national guard service was true. The documents just weren't the real documents. He was misled by his source. By the same token, Logan didn't "make up a story" about her assualt.

5:29PM PDT on May 3, 2011

Charles Wallace, what actual physical evidence of a rape is there in this case?

Innocent until proven guilty is a cornerstone of law. It's all to easy for reporters to further their careers with made up stories, like Dan Rather and the fake Bush guard records, Jack Kelley and his faked news, etc...

Where is the evidence?

3:31PM PDT on May 2, 2011

Bravo, Lara! There are no words to say what is in my heart. As for James-say what????? There are so many holes in your statements they don't bear addressing. Did you think before you wrote? Really?

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