NUJ Condemns Attack on Journalist in Egypt Eections

Press Release from the National Union of Journalists of UK and Ireland

The NUJ has strongly condemned a violent attack on veteran Egypt correspondent Ahmed Mansour during the country’s staggered elections and is writing to protest to the Egyptian government.

Two men physically assaulted Mansour, a freelance producer and presenter for Al-Jazeera, as he waited outside the satellite channel’s offices in Cairo for transport to the studio to present his weekly live talk show on 9 November.

He said: “Two men approached me and asked if I am Ahmed Mansour. As soon as I replied “yes” they started punching my face, which left me in shock and pain, with broken glasses and a bruised cheek and forehead.

“I still had to face the viewers and my guest who was the chairman of Al Wafd, an opposition party candidate running in the current elections in Egypt.”

When Ahmed Mansour made his live broadcast 30 minutes later with his injuries clearly visible to viewers he said: “Egypt should protect its honest sons.”

When told of the attack, NUJ President Tim Lezard said: "The NUJ utterly condemns this unprovoked and vicious attack and calls on the Egyptian government to investigate the incident and bring the assailants to justice.

"It is an unwanted irony that Ahmed Mansour was covering the Parliamentary

elections when he was assaulted because the unhindered reporting of the

democratic process is in itself essential to any democracy."

This was the second attack in five days on a journalist covering the elections. Heba al-Qudsy, a reporter for the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, was attacked by a group of ‘thugs’ who stole her camera as she photographed a rally in support of an independent candidate in Cairo.

Many journalists were also attacked during the 2000 elections in Egypt but nobody has been prosecuted.

For more information contact Tim Lezard on 07810 641459 or NUJ Freelance Organiser John Toner on 07710 314593.