CBS Reporter Lara Logan Hospitalized After "Brutal Sexual Assault" in Egypt

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CBS News announced yesterday that Lara Logan, a star reporter known for her coverage of wars and crises, suffered a brutal beating and sexual assault last Friday while reporting on the crowds in Cairo's Tahrir Sqare celebrating the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak:

On Friday, Feb. 11, the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan was covering the jubilation in Tahrir Square for a "60 Minutes" story when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.

In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers. She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning. She is currently in the hospital recovering.

There will be no further comment from CBS News and correspondent Logan and her family respectfully request privacy at this time.

Logan had returned to Egypt last Thursday after having been detained February 3 and forced out of the country. On February 7, she told interviewer Charlie Rose that she had been accused of being a spy. Esquire's Foster Kamer interviewed Logan just before she boarded the plane that took her back to Cairo. She acknowledged the risk she was taking, saying, among other things,

Part of me feels like it's really insane, but the other part of me made a very considered, rational decision with my teammates.

Lara Logan in Iraq

According to her biography on the CBS News website, Logan has been both the network's chief senior foreign correspondent and a contributor to 60 Minutes since 2006. Her career as a war correspondent goes back 18 years and has garnered her a number of prestigious awards, including an Edward R. Murrow award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association for a series about Marines on patrol in Afghanistan.

The news is being greeted with widespread shock and horror.

Logan serves on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists, which issued a statement today expressing "alarm" at the news of the attack on Logan. Noting that she raised money to pay for medical expenses and other assistance for journalists who have been attacked, CPJ Chairman Paul Steiger said,

We have seen Lara's compassion at work while helping journalists who have faced brutal aggression while doing their jobs. She is a brilliant, courageous, and committed reporter. Our thoughts are with Lara as she recovers.

NPR has pointers to coverage of other attacks on journalists in Egypt, including CPJ reports.

Writing for the Atlantic, Garance Franke-Ruta argues that the attack on Logan highlights the dangers that routinely face female foreign correspondents. She also notes that Logan probably gave CBS News permission to use her name, breaking with the traditional US media practice of not naming sexual assault victims.

Despite this, the tip sheet from the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma on covering street demonstrations does not touch upon the danger of sexual assault, and does not include advice for women.

Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin wrote what many are doubtlessly feeling:

"[T]his much can be said:

Damn the animals who are responsible. Damn them.

Please keep this brave journalist and mother of two in your thoughts and prayers..."

Photo Credit: Wikimedia.

Updated 2/16 12:31 CT

New Reaction to Logan's Assault

Kim Pearson
BlogHer Contributing Editor|KimPearson.net|

Blogher is non-partisan, but many of their bloggers are not.

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