The Committee to Protect Journalists claims to have recorded at least 141 direct attacks on journalists and news facilities in Egypt since the end of January.
The New York-based charity, which has documented reported attacks on its websites, said it is investigating numerous other reports of violence and hostility against reporters as protests continue against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak.
After an ‘unprecedented assault on the press’last week, the CPJ said anti-press attacks and detentions had continued over the weekend and into this week.
It has also accused the Egyptian authorities of ‘obstructing international news coverage of the country’s political crisis by withholding press credentials”.
The latest CPJ warning came as Robert Tait, a senior correspondent with Radio Free Europe, revealed how he “disappeared” just hours after arriving in Egypt.
Writing for the Guardian, Tait detailed how he was detained, attacked and blindfold while others around him were electrocuted and beaten by Mubarak’s security services.
‘I had ‘disappeared’, along with countless Egyptians, inside the bowels of the Mukhabarat, President Hosni Mubarak’s vast security-intelligence apparatus and an organisation headed, until recently, by his vice-president and former intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, the man trusted to negotiate an “orderly transition” to democratic rule.
‘Judging by what I witnessed, that seems a forlorn hope.”
Tait’s account comes days after scores of other foreign journalists, including several British reporters, were fortunate to escape with their lives after being attacked by mobs as riots and protests continued against Mubarak’s rule.
Supporters of Mubarak began violently attacking journalists reporting on the streets of Cairo last week, as claims circulated that the Egyptian government was employing a strategy of ‘eliminating witnesses to their actions”.