Lara Logan, ’60 Minutes’ correspondent, suffers ‘sustained’ sex assault by Egypt mob: CBS News
BY RICHARD HUFF AND HELEN KENNEDY
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Intrepid “60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan endured a “brutal and sustained” sexual assault by a mob of men while covering the Egyptian uprising, CBS News said.
It happened Friday during the wild jubilation in Cairo’s Tahrir Square after President Hosni Mubarak finally stepped down. The world watched the joyous celebrations on TV, unaware there was a darkness brewing there, too.
“A dangerous element” in the crowd surrounded Logan and her crew, CBS News said in a statement.
“It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into a 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.”
Logan, 39, went home to Washington on the first flight Saturday and was hospitalized.
“We’re pleased to report she’s recovering well,” Katie Couric said during Tuesday night’s broadcast of the “CBS Evening News.”
Logan was expected to be released and go home to her husband and 2-year-old son Tuesday night.
Just a week before, the Emmy-winning war reporter survived a harrowing night of being held – blindfolded and forced into a “stress position” – by Egyptian security forces. That day, Feb. 2, many foreign journalists were attacked by Mubarak supporters.
“I’d been ill for a few days – I hadn’t mentioned it to anyone at CBS,” she told Esquire magazine last week. “I vomited all over the interrogation cell. I vomited all over this office they put me in after that.”
Logan was kicked out of the country and she spent the next week struggling to get back, landing back in Cairo on Friday – the day she was attacked. In an appearance on the “Charlie Rose Show” on Feb. 7, she explained why she was trying so hard to go back to Egypt, despite the danger.
“It’s very hard for me to be away from this story,” she said. “I feel like I failed because I didn’t deliver. “Fundamentally it’s in my blood to be there and to be on the street and listening to people and to do the best reporting that I can.”
At least 140 reporters have been injured or killed covering Egypt since Jan. 30, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Fox News Channel’s Greg Palkot, who was badly beaten in Egypt on Feb. 2, continues to recover from his injuries and has not been on the air since the attack. Logan is a fearless foreign correspondent who has reported from some of the world’s most dangerous places.
Her colleagues reacted with a flurry of horrified messages on Twitter-
“Sickened and saddened by the attack on Lara Logan. She is in all of our thoughts and prayers,” said CNN’s Anderson Cooper, another reporter beaten Feb. 2.
“Horrified by dreadful attack on CBS reporter Lara Logan – wishing her full and speedy recovery,” CNN’s Piers Morgan said.
Logan is on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists, and has raised money for injured reporters.
“We have seen Lara’s compassion at work while helping journalists who have faced brutal aggression while doing their jobs,” said CPJ Chairman Paul Steiger.
Few statistics exist about sexual assaults on female correspondents in combat zones, in part because so many are loath to report attacks for fear of losing their beat. A 2005 survey by the International News Safety Institute in Brussels was sent to 150 female foreign correspondents – only 29 replied. Of the 29, half reported sexual harassment on the job and two had experienced sexual abuse.