More female journalists sexually assaulted in Egypt

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Egypt is again proving to be an unwelcoming place for female reporters.

In the wake of massive protests against Egypt’s military rulers, the watchdog group Reporters Without Borders reports that at least two female journalists have been sexually assaulted.

On Friday the group reported that Caroline Sinz, a French reporter for public TV station France 3, was sexually assaulted Thursday in Cairo while covering the protests.

Sinz described her ordeal to Agence France-Presse, explaining that she was separated from her cameraman Salah Agrabi and attacked by local men.

“We were then assaulted by a crowd of men. I was beaten by a group of youngsters and adults who tore my clothes,” she said.

Sinz explained that she was assaulted in a way that “would be considered rape,” adding that “[s]ome 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, according to the report.

On Wednesday Egyptian-American journalist Mona Al-Tahtawy reported that she was sexually assaulted by the Central Security Forces after being arrested at Mohamed Mahmoud Street.

Upon her release she described a brutal 12-hour sexual assault by security personnel.

“5 or 6 surrounded me, groped and prodded my breasts, grabbed my genital area and I lost count how many hands tried to get into my trousers,” she said, according to Abramonline.

Abramoline reported that military intelligence has apologized for the CSF force’s actions.

The recent assaults recall the plight of American CBS reporter Lara Logan who was a sexually assaulted in Tahrir Square in February.

Reporters Without Borders is urging international news agencies to take extra precautions as they send reporters, especially female reporters, to cover the demonstrations in Tahrir Square.

“It is more dangerous for a woman than a man to cover the demonstrations in Tahrir Square,”  the organization said.  “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.”

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