Amid the jubilations on February 11, the day that Hosni Mubarak stepped down, CBS news reporter Lara Logan was brutally beaten and sexually assaulted after being separated from her crew by a “mob” of more than 200 people “whipped into a frenzy.” She was eventually saved by a group of Egyptian women and soldiers and is recovering in the hospital, according to a statement released by CBS.
Logan was covering the celebrations, which were mostly peaceful, for “60 Minutes.” The news of the attack has come late, which suggests that CBS was attempting to protect Logan’s privacy. Reporters became a significant target during the protests, and several were killed, including an Egyptian photographer. Many international news agencies pulled their coverage following these spates of violence, but the euphoria in the streets led many to believe that the threat of attack was over. Logan had at least one security official as a member of her crew, which did little good.
This attack is particularly tragic because Logan was known as an intrepid journalist, reporting on war zones for almost twenty years. She made her name covering the 2001 war in Afghanistan for a British news station and later covered the war in Iraq. She was lauded for her reporting with an Emmy, an Overseas Press Club Award and an Edward R. Murrow Award. She’s also the mother of two young children.
It’s also disturbing that the joy in the crowds turned, even in one instance, to sexual and physical violence. This is especially disappointing because so many women were seen on the streets during the Egyptian protests, and women were prominent among the uprising’s organizers.
As Anna North, writing for Jezebel, points out, it’s also tempting to probe for more details, especially given the Esquire interview published the day before Logan was attacked. In it, she describes being “blindfolded” and put in “stress positions” by the Egyptian army, and accused of being Israeli spies. And even though she was “violently ill,” Logan wasn’t given medical attention until she vomited all over her interrogation cell.
I’m sure that more details will come out soon, and we’ll keep you posted as they do. But now, all we can do is send Logan our best wishes for an emotional and physical recovery, and hope that her family’s privacy is preserved through this traumatic time.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.