MAY 25, 2005
Posted: June 21, 2005

Shaymaa Abol Kheir, Al-Dustour
Gamal Fahmi, Press Syndicate and Al-Arabi
Mohamed Abdel Kouddous, Press Syndicate
Several other journalists


Government supporters assaulted several foreign and local journalists as police looked on during demonstrations in Cairo.

Journalists told CPJ that the attacks took place as they were covering demonstrations in downtown Cairo organized by Kifaya (Enough), an opposition group that was protesting a referendum to allow only limited presidential elections in Egypt.

Five journalists interviewed by CPJ said that security forces nearby did nothing to impede the several dozen attackers who descended upon the protestors and journalists and began punching, kicking, and slapping them. Some female reporters were groped by the assailants.

Shaymaa Abol Kheir, of the weekly opposition newspaper Al-Dustour, told CPJ that a person she believes to be a security agent stopped the taxi that she and a colleague had entered and forced them out of the car. Abol Kheir said she and her colleague were handed over to female government supporters who beat them, tore their clothes, and groped them.

Gamal Fahmi, a member of the board of the Press Syndicate and contributor to the weekly Al-Arabi, told CPJ that he and Mohamed Abdel Kouddous, another prominent syndicate member, were also pushed and punched in the melee. Other journalists told CPJ that they were punched, kicked, groped, and had their clothing ripped.