South African journalist Lara Logan was subject to a brutal sexual assault and beating while reporting on the downfall of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, it has emerged.
The 39-year-old chief foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News was covering Friday’s celebrations in Tahrir Square when she was separated from her crew after being surrounded by a mob of 200 people.
Logan, who was reporting for the 60 Minutes show, was then subjected to a “sustained and brutal” sexual assault before being rescued by a group of women and Egyptian soldiers.
She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning. The mother-of-two is currently in the hospital recovering.
In a statement CBS said: “On Friday, Feb. 11, the day Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan was covering the jubilation in Tahrir Square for a “60 Minutes” story when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into 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.
“There will be no further comment from CBS News and correspondent Logan and her family respectfully request privacy at this time.”
Earlier in the month Logan revealed she had been detained, along with her crew, by Egyptian police outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo.
She described the experience as “frightening” and “dangerous” and that her crew were being watched everywhere they went – preventing them from telling the story.
A 2005 report by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights revealed journalists suffer numerous forms of discrimination – with female reporters subjected to sexual assaults.