Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Air Algerie investigation continues

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

UNRWA official breaks down over Gaza deaths

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults - Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

FOCUS

Constitution prohibits Aung San Suu Kyi to run for president

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

War and Markets, with Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank

Read more

  • Kerry, Ban announce 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • Investigators reach MH17 site amid 24-hour ceasefire

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further €1.9 billion to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

Africa

FRANCE 24 journalist's Egypt ordeal

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-02-14

The situation for foreign journalists in Cairo took a violent turn last Wednesday, as many were pulled aside and beaten by pro-Mubarak rioters and military police. FRANCE 24 reporter Gallagher Fenwick tells of his experience.

On Wednesday, February 2, the mostly peaceful movement against embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak gave way to brutal street battles between anti-regime protesters and pro-Mubarak rioters in and around Cairo’s Tahrir Square. In the midst of the fray, journalists and foreigners became a moving target.

Gallagher Fenwick Interview Part 1

FRANCE 24 had a team of nine special correspondents on the ground, and until that point things had been going smoothly – despite the Internet blackout and the unrest in certain neighbourhoods of the city.

But that Wednesday, the FRANCE 24 staff caught wind of a counter-demonstration of pro-Mubarak militants to take place that afternoon at Tahrir Square. The duelling protests quickly degenerated into violence, with weapon-wielding supporters of the president attacking the anti-government contingent. Five members of the team ventured into the clashes to get footage, but three of them – Gallagher Fenwick, Johan Bodin, and Adel Gastel – were quickly pulled aside by pro-Mubarak rioters. Fenwick was pummelled for several minutes by a furious crowd, and he and his two colleagues were subsequently detained and beaten repeatedly by Egyptian military police. The journalists were released 36 hours later.

Gallagher Fenwick Interview Part 2

‘One of the officers was cocking his weapon right next to our heads’

Fenwick, who is FRANCE 24’s correspondent in Jerusalem but was in Cairo to cover the events, recounted his run-in with the pro-Mubarak protesters. “There were very many of them,” he said. “They were hitting me with metal bars, wooden sticks, fists.”

After, Fenwick says the three were taken away by “men in uniform” who the journalists believe were military police. “They took us to their headquarters….the first thing they did was hit us,” Fenwick said. “One captain saw the bandages on my head, and the blood on my face and my head, and asked me if it hurt. I said ‘yes’ and he hit me right where I pointed to say it hurts.”

According to Fenwick, the men thought to be military police then “forced” the three FRANCE 24 journalists into a “closed area where there was a dark blanket with weapons and ammunition and people lined up against a wall with their eyes blindfolded.”

Gallagher Fenwick Interview Part 3

“They pushed us to the ground and asked us to kiss the ground, lying on our stomachs with our hands tied behind our backs,” Fenwick said. “They repeatedly hit our legs….and one of the officers was cocking his weapon right next to our heads.”

Fenwick, Bodin and Gastel were released late Thursday, and most of the FRANCE 24 team left Cairo one day later. Two minibuses provided by the French embassy shuttled the journalists, as well as reporters from other TV channels and radio stations, to the airport.

Gallagher Fenwick Interview Part 4

Several dozen journalists from various news organisations were reportedly pursued and beaten in the streets of Cairo on February 2 and 3.

Two FRANCE 24 correspondents stayed in the Egyptian capital to ensure coverage of the events, but changed hotels in order to keep a safe distance from Tahrir Square. The others arrived safely in Paris.

Date created : 2011-02-09

  • EGYPT

    Google executive Ghomin is Egypt's reluctant hero of Tahrir Square

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French PM joins minister aboard 'Air Dictator' scandal

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    A look back at the sixteenth day of Egyptian unrest

    Read more

COMMENT(S)