Female journalist attacked by mob during live broadcast

Reporter assaulted and groped during live broadcast for a French news channel in Tahrir Square, Cairo.

A female French correspondent for France 24 TV was surrounded, groped and ‘savagely attacked’ by a crowd of men during a live broadcast near Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Journalist Sonia Dridi had been filming her segment with a male colleague when the mob started to move in and surround her, around 10.30pm on Friday, according to a statement from the news channel.

Fellow reporter, Ashraf Khalil, had been waiting to film his spot, but quickly moved in and led her off as the crowd ascended midway through the broadcast.

‘When we went back for the second live shot the crowd was worse, it was really hard to control the crowd,’ Khalil told The Guardian. ‘By the time it was finished everybody was too close and no one was listening to us.’ 

‘More frightened than hurt,’ Dridi wrote in French, according to the Associated Press, on her Twitter page on Saturday. Referring in English to her colleague, she tweeted: ‘Thanks to @ashrafkhalil for protecting me in #Tahrir last nite. Mob was pretty intense. thanks to him I escaped from the unleashed hands.’ (sic)

The incident comes just days after the government announced a new crackdown on sexual harassment via the instalment of a CCTV camera network.  

A 2008 report from a local NGO reported that 83% of Egyptian women and 98% of foreign women had experienced sexual assault in the country.

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