Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lara Logan Suffered 'Brutal' Sexual Assault In Egypt Video

Lara Logan endured a "brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating" while covering the jubilation in Egypt last week following the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, the network said today.

In a statement, CBS said Logan was on assignment for "60 Minutes" while covering the festive atmosphere last Friday in Cairo's Tahrir Square when "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."

Logan is one of nearly 140 news correspondents who have been injured or killed since Jan. 30 while covering the political unrest in Egypt, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Logan, a native of South Africa, has been CBS's chief foreign correspondent since 2006. She has regularly filed reports from war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan for "60 MInutes" and the "CBS Evening News."

Logan, 39, went home to Washington on the first flight Saturday and was hospitalized.

"We're pleased to report she's recovering well," Katie Couric said during Tuesday night's broadcast of the "CBS Evening News."

Logan was expected to be released and go home to her husband and 2-year-old son Tuesday night.

Just a week before, the Emmy-winning war reporter survived a harrowing night of being held - blindfolded and forced into a "stress position" - by Egyptian security forces. That day, Feb. 2, many foreign journalists were attacked by Mubarak supporters.

"I'd been ill for a few days - I hadn't mentioned it to anyone at CBS," she told Esquire magazine last week. "I vomited all over the interrogation cell. I vomited all over this office they put me in after that."

Logan was kicked out of the country and she spent the next week struggling to get back, landing back in Cairo on Friday - the day she was attacked.

In an appearance on the "Charlie Rose Show" on Feb. 7, she explained why she was trying so hard to go back to Egypt, despite the danger.

"It's very hard for me to be away from this story," she said. "I feel like I failed because I didn't deliver.

"Fundamentally it's in my blood to be there and to be on the street and listening to people and to do the best reporting that I can."

At least 140 reporters have been injured or killed covering Egypt since Jan. 30, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Fox News Channel's Greg Palkot, who was badly beaten in Egypt on Feb. 2, continues to recover from his injuries and has not been on the air since the attack.

Logan is a fearless foreign correspondent who has reported from some of the world's most dangerous places.

Her colleagues reacted with a flurry of horrified messages on Twitter.

"Sickened and saddened by the attack on Lara Logan. She is in all of our thoughts and prayers," said CNN's Anderson Cooper, another reporter beaten Feb. 2.

"Horrified by dreadful attack on CBS reporter Lara Logan - wishing her full and speedy recovery," CNN's Piers Morgan said.

Logan is on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists, and has raised money for injured reporters.

"We have seen Lara's compassion at work while helping journalists who have faced brutal aggression while doing their jobs," said CPJ Chairman Paul Steiger.

Few statistics exist about sexual assaults on female correspondents in combat zones, in part because so many are loath to report attacks for fear of losing their beat.

A 2005 survey by the International News Safety Institute in Brussels was sent to 150 female foreign correspondents - only 29 replied. Of the 29, half reported sexual harassment on the job and two had experienced sexual abuse.