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FRANCE 24 journalist assaulted in Cairo
FRANCE 24 journalist Sonia Dridi filed a police complaint with Egyptian police on Saturday, one day after she was assaulted by a crowd of men while reporting on a demonstration at Cairo's Tahrir Square.
FRANCE 24 journalist Sonia Dridi filed a police complaint with Egyptian police on Saturday, a day after she was assaulted while reporting on a protest in the capital Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
Dridi had just finished giving a live news report at around 10:30pm on Friday for FRANCE 24’s French language television when a crowd of men teemed around her, shoving and grabbing at her body.
“I was surrounded by my team, so I didn’t feel like I was in any particular danger,” Dridi told FRANCE 24 in a televised interview, saying that the camera crew had attracted a crowd of curious bystanders. “I was able to do my live report but at the end of it the atmosphere was really tense.”
“The crowd encircled us…It was mostly young men, but not only. They started to touch me and I held onto my colleague, who tried to reassure me and hold my attention so we could get out of the crowd as fast as possible,” Dridi added.
After a tense few moments, Ashraf Khalil, a correspondent for FRANCE 24’s English-language television, was eventually able to rescue Dridi from the crowd.
On Saturday, FRANCE 24 announced that both journalists were safe and in good health. In a statement, the company also said that it “firmly condemns repeated acts of violence against journalists, who should be able to do their job freely anywhere in the world”.
A Foreign Ministry statement released Monday also condemned the attack. “France condemns in the strongest possible terms the aggression visited upon a FRANCE 24 journalist last Friday in Cairo’s Tahrir Square,” it said. “We demand that the Egyptian authorities do everything possible to expedite an investigation, indentify the perpetrators and ensure that they face justice.”
The ministry went on to say that France “has placed the ambassador in Cairo and his team at [Dridi's] disposal to offer such aid and support as should be needed at this difficult time”.
“The respect for women and for freedom of the press are intrinsic values that cannot be separated from the democratic values of the Egyptian revolution,” the ministry said.
It is far from the first time that a female journalist has been sexually assaulted while working in Cairo. Last year a number of women reported having been attacked while covering mass protests against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime.