Journalist dies after being shot in Egyptian clashes

2011-02-05 11:30

An Egyptian journalist died yesterday of gunshot wounds sustained during violent clashes between supporters of President Hosni Mubarak and anti-government protesters, a state-owned daily reported.

Al-Ahram reported that Ahmed Mohammed Mahmud of Al-Taawun newspaper, published by the state-owned Al-Ahram Foundation, died after being in a coma for four days.

He had been shot by sniper fire the week earlier while taking pictures from his flat near Tahrir Square, the focal point of massive anti-government rallies.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said that in a week it documented at least 101 direct attacks on journalists and news facilities, with 10 assaults on members of the press in 24 hours.

According to the CPJ, Mahmud is the first media fatality of the Egyptian protests that erupted last week Tuesday.

“It is stupefying that the government continues to send out thugs and plainclothes police to attack journalists and ransack media bureaus,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa programme co-ordinator.

“This is doubly outrageous after the embattled president, vice-president, and prime minister all expressed various degrees of regret for the unprecedented attacks on the media on Wednesday and Thursday,” he said.

Several major media outlets covering the clashes in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square said their journalists had been stalked and attacked by supporters of embattled Mubarak, or detained by the military.

In a statement yesterday, Egypt’s information ministry denounced attacks against the media as “unacceptable”.

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