Journalists covering Egypt’s turmoil have been shouted at, threatened, attacked and beaten while trying to cover the story in Egypt.
Correspondents have been sprayed with pepper spray, hit in the head and subjected to various other acts of violence by those supporting President Hosni Mubarak.
The protests became increasingly violent Wednesday when supporter of the current administration physically opposed the protestors in what appeared to many as an organized opposition.
‘For the first time in the last few days, we can feel what dictatorship really means,’ said Lara Logan of CBS News.
CBS camera crews taking pictures of the demonstrators were marched back to their hotel at gunpoint and only allowed to leave without cameras. It is reported that news crews were watched wherever they went.
Mubarak supporters charged demonstrators on horses and camels, assaulting the demonstrators with sticks and fire bombs. Rocks and cobblestone were pulled from the streets and used for weapons.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper and his crew were punched numerous times in the head by loyalists who also attacked the producer and cameraman. Journalists are generally seen as being on the side of the anti-government groups and often the object of hate. In one instance journalists were shielded by anti-government demonstrators and helped to escape.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof reported being “threatened” by men “armed with machetes, straight-razors and clubs.”
ABC crews were threatened when trying to conduct interviews and after retreating had their windshield smashed and doors kicked in by an angry mob.
The journalists have continued to cover the story at great personal risk. Correspondents from CNN, CBS, ABC and The New York Times all reported being threatened or beaten.