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French Journalist Caroline Sinz Brutally Assaulted in Cairo (video)

French Journalist Caroline Sinz Brutally Assaulted in Cairo (video)

A French reporter for public TV station France 3, Caroline Sinz, was brutally assaulted on a street leading from Tahrir Square in Cairo to the interior ministry on Wednesday night. Salah Agrabi, her cameraman, was also attacked. The assault of Sinz chillingly recalls what happened to CBS News reporter Lara Logan in Tahrir Square on February 11, the day Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power.

“We were filming in Mohammed Mahmud Street when we were mobbed by young people who were about 14 or 15,” Sinz told [Agence France-Presse]. Then they were dragged by a group of men towards Tahrir Square where they became separated.

“We were then assaulted by a crowd of men. I was beaten by a group of youngsters and adults who tore my clothes.” Then they molested her in a way that “would be considered rape,” she said. “Some people tried to help me but failed. I was lynched. It lasted three quarters of an hour before I was taken out. I thought I was going to die.” Her cameraman was also beaten, she said.

According to AFP, Sinz was finally rescued by a group of Egyptians and taken back to her hotel, where she was assisted by the French embassy before being seen by a doctor.

This video show Sinz being surrounded by a mob of men.

Just hours before Sinz was attacked, US-based Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy was sexually and physically assaulted at the interior ministry after she was arrested. She was released Thursday morning with both arms broken.

The day after Eltahawy and Sinz were assaulted, the French branch of Reporters Sans Frontičres (RSF) said that international media should not send female journalists to Cairo after two sexual assaults in the past few days. Journalists immediately raised objections and RSF withdrew its statement, which was amended to say:

“We urge the media to take great care and to make the security of their reporters and local correspondents their priority. It is more dangerous for a woman than a man to cover the demonstrations in Tahrir Square. That is the reality and the media must face it. It is the first time that there have been repeated sexual assaults against women reporters in the same place. The media must keep this in mind when sending staff there and must take special safety measures.

“We are not saying the international media should pull out and stop covering events in Egypt. But they need to adapt to the threats that currently exist. And women journalists going to Tahrir Square should be aware of this situation.”

British television journalist and news international editor for Channel 4 Lindsey Hilsum wrote to RSF that

“We have fought for decades as female journalists to get our editors to treat us equally. I do not understand how an organisation devoted to press freedom can recommend discrimination like this.”

A Cairo-based woman reporter said that sexual harassment had been more “prevalent” in the past week than ever before in the Egyptian protests; she noted that “Today’s Tahrir Square has a menacing feel. It’s a grittier and dirtier Tahrir than before.” Rebecca Chiao runs the Cairo-based harassmap which maps reported incidents of sexual harassment and violence; Chiao says that such are “ubiquitous” in Egypt:

In a 2008 survey, 83% of women reported having been sexually harassed. Almost three-quarters of Egyptian women who said they had been harassed were veiled and 98% of foreigners said they had been intimidated or groped.

While underscoring that sexual violence against women “is undeniably a problem and absolutely horrific,” British journalist Hilsum also made it clear that “that does not mean women should be intimidated into not reporting in difficult situations.” She pointed out that male journalists had also been assaulted and killed in this year’s uprisings but she had not yet “heard calls for them to leave.”

 

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Photo of Tahrir Square with sign saying "Down with SCAF" taken on November 23, 2011, by gigiibrahim

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126 comments

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1:33PM PST on Dec 15, 2011

Que pena me da oir este caso , yo creo que a esos paises no hay que ir ya sabemos que a las mujeres no nos respetan , gracias a Dios y no la mataron ....Feliz navidad

10:17AM PST on Dec 2, 2011

Thank you, Kristina. It's important we learn about this - even if we don't immediately know what to say, or do.

12:58PM PST on Nov 28, 2011

I don't think people should be upset with the RFS for saying women reporters should stay away. They were not trying to be chauvanistic ( sorry I dont know how to spell it) , they were bing realistic. Yes, women should have the right to do their jobs-- but they should also be able to do their jobs without being assaulted!!! Maybe reporters in these dangerous situations should have armed security protection.

12:53PM PST on Nov 28, 2011

This is terrible. May God bless and heal the victims. It is even more disturbing to hear that apparently sexual assault is so prevalent there. I hope that serious changes will be made and that these human rights abuses will stop being so common place.

10:51AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

I don't want to be picky, but shouldn't this "Annually, compared to males, females experienced over 10 times as many incidents of violence by an intimate" have been written "reported" not "experienced", as tgis is "Analysis of Data on Crimes".

I have been involved in a minor way with the British Crime Survey. The prevalence of crimes and types of crime are quite different when reported to a sympathetic interviewer than those presented by the police as reported crimes. Indeed, I seem to remember that 1 min 5 men reported being vistims of domestic violence and another report puts this figure as high as 40%.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/sep/05/men-victims-domestic-violence

It may be that the US study actually is out of date and had a flawed sampling base, that is crimes reported to the police. - men are less likely to report abuse for a number of, mainly cultural, reasons.

10:50AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

Til all people are equal and prosecuted for their offenses against the opposite sex,this will continue. I can only hope that more education will help enlighten all to the limits they place on people only holds back the world.

8:44AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

Thanks, Antonio

8:44AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

Ahren A says:--

"I said I visited 2 countries of Islamic faith"

That makes you an expert on the behavour of all Muslim men, does it? In any case, was it one of those "It's Monday so it must be Casablanca" tours?

"and I related the story of the 16 y.o. girl that occured in a N.African country."

And that could easily be a figment of your imagination. With no evidence to back it up, that's where we;ll keep it.

The problem for you is those "darkie" Moolseems, isn't it? Just the idea that people have the cheek to have a different faith that you don't profess. And they're brown skinned, in the main, to boot.

8:34AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

John D,

I said I visited 2 countries of Islamic faith and I related the story of the 16 y.o. girl that occured in a N.African country.

Neither a geographical region nor religion = race.

Really go educate yourself first before engaging in conversation with people in your violent manner and making yourself look like a fool.

7:05AM PST on Nov 28, 2011

No woman should have to endure a mob like this but she was in a very dangerous location. She's lucky, she could have been killed. Hope she remembers how dangerous her work can be.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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