The British-based National Union of Journalists has strongly condemned the violent attack on Ahmed Mansour in Cairo during the country’s staggered elections and has called on the government to investigate the incident.
The NUJ cited the assault of a freelance producer and presenter for Aljazeera television, Mansour, on 9 November in front of the Aljazeera office in Cairo.
Two men attacked Mansour, as he waited for transport to the studio to present his live weekly talk show.
He said: “Two men approached me and asked if I am Ahmed Mansour. As soon as I replied “yes” they started punching me in the 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 Mansour made his live broadcast 30 minutes later with his injuries clearly visible to viewers he said: “Egypt should protect its honest sons.”
“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,” the NUJ statement said.
Mansour was attacked while
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 people who stole her camera as she photographed a rally in support of an independent candidate in Cairo.
In a formal letter of protest to the Egyptian government addressed to the Prime Minister, Ahmed Nazif, the NUJ wrote: “Within 30 minutes of this attack, Mr Mansour made a live broadcast during which his bruises were apparent to viewers.
“There seems little doubt that Mr Mansour was assaulted because he is a journalist.”
The Egyptian government has not commented on the attack or the NUJ statement.