Foreign, Egyptian Journalists Attacked During Voting in Cairo
Several foreign and Egyptian journalists covering the parliamentary elections in Egypt were beaten, roughed up or intimidated on Wednesday, journalists reported.
While some were attacked by unidentified men and women in civilian clothes, an Egyptian cameraman for Qatar-based Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel was seen being beaten by police wielding metal bars.
Jazeera cameraman Hossam Abu al-Magd was taken to Al-Safa hospital in Cairo where he was treated for a broken arm, an official at the hospital told AFP.
Abu al-Magd was attacked by police in uniform and civilian clothes while trying to film police as they locked a polling station in the Dokki district, where Muslim Brotherhood's Maamun al-Hodeibi was running for office.
The incident, which occurred during the opening of the third and last stage of the elections, was witnessed by several journalists.
New York Times reporter Abeer Allam, an Egyptian, and photographer Norbert Schiller, a US national, were roughed up by men and women in civilian clothes in "full view of uniformed police officers," their company said.
Schiller had his camera and mobile phone smashed by the people whom police described as "thugs," she added.
When asked for help, the police officers told the pair it was "not their responsibility" to intervene, according to Susan Sachs, the Times' Cairo-based correspondent who gave AFP the account she received from the journalists.
Sachs said she has asked the Egyptian authorities to respond to the Times report of the attack.
Islamist MP Mahfuz Hilmi, who won his seat in the second stage of elections, alleged that the government has been "hiring heavies" who use "swords and knives" to stop people from voting for Islamist candidates.
The Vatican Radio reporter in Cairo, Dale Gavlak, told AFP she was forced to hand over her tape recorder to a man and woman in civilian clothes while police stood by without reacting.
During a first-round runoff last month, the New York-based international news agency, Associated Press alleged that one of its journalists was beaten by an Egyptian policeman.
The Cairo office of the Associated Press alleged that its journalist Mariam Fam, an Egyptian, was slapped, knocked to the ground and kicked by a policeman while interviewing people at a polling station in Ashmun.
The company said it would file a complaint with the authorities.
On November 4 in the mainly pro-Islamist village of Dakahla in northern Egypt AFP correspondent Peter King was roughed up by a plain clothes government security man and had his press card and mobile telephone temporarily confiscated -- CAIRO (AFP)
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