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IFJ calls for probe into serious attack on CBS reporter

(IFJ/IFEX) - 18 February 2011 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called for an investigation into the attack on Lara Logan, a reporter for the American TV cable network CBS, last Friday in Tahrir square, Cairo. CBS has confirmed that Logan was the victim of "a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating."

"This is a shocking attack which must not go unpunished," said Jim Boumelha. "The Egyptian Prime Minister has promised to investigate attacks on media during the protests and this is one the most serious incidents which need to be looked into."

Media reports say Logan, who works on the CBS "60 minutes" programme, returned to Tahrir square on Friday evening to report on the crowd's reaction to news of former President Mubarak's stepping down. She got separated from her team and security detail before she was attacked by a group of protesters.

The IFJ says this tragic incident was the latest in a series of attacks on media during the crisis in Egypt, where journalists were arrested, suffered beatings and had their equipment damaged. The Federation, which led the campaign to end these attacks and asked the authorities to provide protection to journalists, says the attack on Logan should not have happened and lessons must be learned from it to improve the safety of journalists working in hostile environment.

"Circumstances surrounding Logan's vicious attack are still unclear," added Boumelha. "But it is clear she was a victim of a situation which must serve as a lesson both for journalists and their organisations to better prepare for high risk assignments."

The IFJ wished Lara Logan, who is also campaigner for media safety and a board member of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), full and prompt recovery.

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