Disturbing news from Egypt: CBS News just issued a statement that reporter Lara Logan “was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating” by a mob while covering the downfall of Hosni Mubarak’s Egyptian government in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday. According to the network, Logan was separated from her crew and set upon by member of a dangerous crowd that included some 200 people; she was rescued by a group of women and Egyptian soldiers. She is reportedly recuperating in a hospital; she and the network, understandably, are declining further comment.
During the protests and the backlash, there was a rash of attacks on members of the press, and Logan herself had already been detained by the authorities. [Update: Earlier she described the harrowing detention to Esquire.com.] This is a new and horrendous development, and while (to answer a complaint I’ve seen frequently) the suffering of journalists is not inherently worse than anyone else’s, the fact that TV crews like Logan’s were on hand allowed the protests to go on without being crushed invisibly. That she was brutally attacked in the process is simply awful, and my heart goes out to her.
After the jump, CBS’ statement:
CBS News Statement
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 a frenzy.
In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers. She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning. She is currently in the hospital recovering.
There will be no further comment from CBS News and Correspondent Logan and her family respectfully request privacy at this time.