CNN Cameras Confiscated By Egyptian Police During Protests

Posted by David Ozanich — 28 Jan 2011


Yesterday we briefly discussed the state of photographers' rights in America. Just this morning comes news out of Egypt where a CNN photojournalist's camera was confiscated by police during the huge riots and protests.

CNN senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman said he and photojournalist Mary Rogers were under an overpass and behind a column as protesters and police were clashing.

Plainclothes police arrived, surrounded the CNN team and wanted "to haul us off," Wedeman said.

"A big struggle began," he said.

Police grabbed a camera from Rogers, cracked its viewfinder and took the camera away.
Wedeman said the police threatened to beat them.

Wedeman said he urged police to give back the camera to show that Egypt believes in freedom of the press. He said the security forces declined to do so.

Above is a file photo of Wedeman and Rogers. Below, the full CNN report on the incident:

UPDATE: A BBC reporter was severely beaten by police after they took his camera. From Media Decoder:

A journalist for BBC Arabic, Assad Sawey, said he was beaten and arrested by plainclothes police officers on Friday. His shirt bloodied and his head bandaged, Mr. Sawey came on the BBC to convey what had happened. He said he would be going to the hospital after the live report.

"They took my camera away and when they arrested me, they started beating me with steel bars, the ones used here for slaughtering animals," Mr. Sawey said, calling the police officers "brutal."

"They're pretty much anti-media right now," Mr. Maddox said of the Egyptian authorities. He said the situation was a "nightmare, quite frankly," for journalists.

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