Egypt no longer wants to be part of the same world the rest of us live in. It started last week when the country’s government became one of the first in the world to disconnect itself from the internet, in response to the use of Twitter and Facebook by citizens to organize protests (still think the US government’s proposed “internet kill switch” is a good idea?). This week they began taking the next step by attacking television news crews.
Earlier this week CNN’s Anderson Cooper was attacked and beaten. This morning a Fox News Crew was severely injured in a clash with protestors. Now an ABC news crew has been attacked, carjacked, and barely escaped with their lives after a man in a police uniform threatened to cut off their heads while others shouted their assent and engaged in other threats against them.
ABC correspondent Brian Hartman, who is Lebanese, was able to plead for their lives and convinced their captors not to murder them. Here’s how Hartman explained the encounter on Twitter:
Just escaped after being carjacked at a checkpoint and driven to a compound where men surrounded the car and threatened to behead us... The men released us only after our camera man appealed to the generous spirit of the Egyptian people, hugging and kissing an elder.
In a separate incident ABC News reporter Christiane Amanpour was threatened after a seemingly peaceful crowd turns ugly. Watch that here:
It seems clear at this point that things are rapidly spinning out of control in Egypt. It seems less and less clear, however, who exactly the good guys are. Maybe there aren’t any. The situation continues to deteriorate. Word is from THR that a CBS news crew has also been detained by Egyptian police outside the Israeli Embassy. Meanwhile the hotel rooms of NBC, BBC, and Fox news crews have all been ransacked.
Egypt cut itself off from the internet, now it seems determined to remove itself from your TV set too, by any means necessary.