NEWS

Kathimerini reporter attacked amid Cairo riots

A Kathimerini reporter covering the unrest in Cairo was beaten and stabbed during violent clashes in the Egyptian capital that have led to several other journalists and photographers being injured but he was safe late on Thursday.

Petros Papaconstantinou said he had been covering the riots involving supporters of President Hosni Mubarak and anti-government protesters in Cairo?s Tahrir Square when he was attacked by a group of people wielding clubs. ?I was spotted by some Mubarak supporters who started attacking me, hitting me on the head with clubs and stabbing me in the leg,? Papaconstantinou told Kathimerini.

Some Egyptian soldiers intervened, he said, and escorted him away but insisted on detaining him. ?After vehement protests they took me to a hospital 45 minutes later,? Papaconstantinou said.

The police accompanied him to the hospital and took his passport, which was later returned following the intervention of the Greek ambassador in Cairo, Christodoulos Lazaris.

Papaconstantinou told Kathimerini that he had not been hurt seriously.

A Greek freelance photographer, Giorgos Moutafis, was among several others attacked. He told To Vima that he had been punched in the face repeatedly by a group of Mubarak supporters.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based watchdog, described a series of attacks on foreign and local journalists in Cairo in recent days as a government attempt at ?blanket censorship? and intimidation. ?The Egyptian government is employing a strategy of eliminating witnesses to their actions,? Mohamed Abdel Dayem, a spokesman for the watchdog, said in a statement issued late on Wednesday.