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February 16, 2011
Revealed: CBS reporter victim of horrible assault in Tahrir Square (updated)
Not all was joy and good fellowship in Tahrir Square on the day President Mubarak resigned. CBS reporter Lara Logan was sexually assaulted by men in the crowd of unknown sympathies.
On Friday February 11, the day Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stepped down, CBS correspondent Lara 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 amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.
Mob psychology is unpredictable. People do things in situations like that they may never even think of doing alone. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Logan as she recovers.
Update: Ronny Gordon writes from Israel:
"Mob psychology' played little part in it if at all.
It is a normal occurrence in Arab countries, and increasingly in Muslim areas of Europe, for Women in western attire to be groped, sexually assaulted, and harassed, in all kind of public areas, from squares to shopping malls. Here in Israel, women tourists or Israeli women who walk in the Old City of Jerusalem report constant harassment and molestation by youngsters as young as 11.
In fact, one of the main reasons for the heavy presence of Israeli border police patrols in the old city is to allow women to walk there unmolested.
The core issue here is the place of women in Muslim society.
More details emerge of this incident ("brutal and sustained attack"). Whythe delay in covering the story - and why the muted reporting? This happened a few days ago,in an area covered by dozens of cameras.media from all over the world must have known about it, maybe even have footage of it
Could it be they didn't want to destroy Obama's moment, and the nonsense of the 'beautiful, good Arabs" in the square?
Can you imagine what would have happened if Lara Logen was gang raped for half an hour in an Israeli army base?
And yes - it apears more and more to have been a prolonged gang rape.
David Paulin adds:
Lara Logan, chief foreign correspondent for CBS News, suffered "a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating" last Friday while covering Egypt's anti-government protests, according to a statement Tuesday from CBS News.
The horrific incident occurred on the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down and jubilant anti-government protesters filled Tahrir Square.
The attackers surrounded Logan and her team, including a security specialist, and then pulled the attractive and blond-haired journalist away. But they weren't the usual pro-Mubarak goons, like those who'd attacked Western journalists covering anti-govenment protests.
These men were a "a dangerous element amidst the celebration," said CBS News in an online story. "It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy." Logan, who'd been working on a "60 Minutes" story, was eventually "saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers."
The veteran 39-year-old journalist retuned to the United States on the first flight the next morning. As of Tuesday, she remained hospitalized.
It's perhaps not surprising that a Western woman would suffer such an attack in a Muslim country in the chaos that pervaded Egypt last week. What is surprising is the reaction to the incident by some liberals and conservatives.
Nir Rosen, a fellow at the NYU Center for Law and Security, ripped Logan in online comments, calling her a "war monger" and saying "I'm rolling my eyes over all the attention she will get." An article in National Review Online took the liberal pundit to task over his comments.
Meanwhile, a reader at a conservative blog had a different take on the assault, writing:
Suggesting the veteran correspondent brought the attack on herself, the reader added:
Like other Western reporters in Egypt, Logan was trying to make sense of a chaotic situation, and like conservative and politcal reporters alike, she may well have projected political views onto the situation to make sense of it.