Monday,18 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1160, (15 - 21 August 2013)
Monday,18 December, 2017
Issue 1160, (15 - 21 August 2013)

Ahram Weekly

Media lives lost

Three journalists were killed during Wednesday’s violence in Cairo, reports Mohamed Abdelbaky

Al-Ahram Weekly

Three journalists were killed during the deadly confrontation between the security forces and Muslim Brotherhood supporters across Egypt on Wednesday. Several other journalists reported being attacked, threatened and detained.

“We demand that the authorities open up an investigation into the killing of foreign and Egyptian journalists during Wednesday’s events,” said a statement released by the Egyptian Press Syndicate. “The people who committed such a crime must be held accountable.”

A cameraman for Sky News was shot dead while covering the raid outside Rabaa Al-Adawiya mosque in Nasr City, according to news reports. Mick Deane had worked for the network for 15 years, Sky News said. Sky News did not specify the origin of the gunfire, but said the rest of the team was unharmed.

The head of Sky News John Ryley described Mick “as the very best of cameramen, a brilliant journalist and an inspiring mentor to many at Sky.”

Sky's Foreign Affairs Editor Tim Marshall called Mick “a friend, brave as a lion but what a heart.”

He added, “Mickey was humorous in a dry way. He was wise and when you're on the road with small teams, people like that are diamonds to be with.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron said in his Twitter account, “I am saddened to hear of the death of cameraman Mick Deane, covering Egyptian violence.” “My thoughts are with his family and the Sky News team.”

Security forces stormed deposed president Mohamed Morsi sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya in Cairo and Nahda Square in Giza early in the morning. The raids sparked violent clashes between police and supporters of Morsi across the country.   

The journalists killed on Wednesday included Ahmed Abdel-Gawad, at the Egyptian daily Al-Akhbar.

Abdel-Gawad was shot during the clashes between security forces and the Brotherhood in Rabaa Al Adawiya. Khaled Al-Balshi, a board member of the Press Syndicate, said that Abdel-Gawad was on assignment when he was killed and apparently he was there due to his political affiliation.

“I just cannot enter the office I shared with you for the last four years and see your staff. You have been a true friend and good journalist,” said Abdel-Gawad’s colleague Meneim Farid on his Facebook page.

Farid added that he had called Abdel-Gawad on Wednesdaymorning to discuss the situation. A few hours later he heard that he was dead.

Abdel-Gawad, who has a daughter, graduated from the Faculty of Languages and Translation in Al-Azhar University.

Additionally, Habiba Ahmed Abdel-Aziz, a 26-year-old staff reporter in XPRESS, a sister publication of the UAE daily Gulf News, was shot dead at the Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square.

The Gulf News website said that Abdel-Aziz was not on any official assignment and had gone to her home country on annual leave.

Her younger sister, Arwa Ramadan, who lives in the UAE, said Habiba was in the mosque at the square Wednesday morning.

“My mom in the UAE spoke to her close to early morning, but when she called again a 12 noon, there was no response. She called again, and somebody picked up the phone and told her Habiba was dead. My dad, who is in Egypt right now, confirmed it later.”

XPRESS Deputy Editor Mazhar Farooqui said the entire team is in a state of shock. “It’s hard to believe she’s gone. She was passionate about her work and had a promising career ahead.”

“We urge all journalists not to take risks while covering the clashes, and do not take sides,” said Al-Balshi.

According to the website of the Committee to Protect Journalists, several journalists reported being injured. Reuters photographer Asmaa Waguih was shot in the foot while covering Rabaa Al-Adawiya, according to Reuters. She is receiving treatment in a hospital. Mohamed Alzeki, a photographer for Al-Jazeera, was shot in the arm while covering the clashes.

A photographer for Al-Masry Al-Youm, Ahmed Al-Najjar, was shot in the arm while covering clashes between police and supporters of Morsi. Al-Najjar was shot outside Nahda Square.

Al-Jazeera journalists Almowhed Ballah Abdelrahman and Imadeddin Al-Saaid were also temporarily detained, Al-Jazeera Mubashir producer Hayat Al-Yamani told CPJ.

The Washington Post reported that journalist Tom Finn had been detained briefly by Egyptian security forces. Finn, who was covering Rabaa Al-Adawiya at the time, posted news of his arrest and release on Twitter.


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