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Two journalists dead, others injured as violence grips Egypt

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans during clashes with riot police and the army in Cairo on 14 August 2013
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans during clashes with riot police and the army in Cairo on 14 August 2013

REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

UPDATE: Three journalists killed on 14 August, many others injured, detained or threatened (RSF, 16 August 2013)

Reporters Without Borders roundly condemns today's fatal shooting of British cameraman Mick Deane while he was covering clashes between security forces and supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo's Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square for the UK's Sky News.

Deane, 61, was with Sky News Middle East correspondent Sam Kiley when he was shot. He died a few hours later after being taken to hospital.

Habiba Ahmed Abd Al-Aziz, a journalist with the Dubai-based weekly Xpress, was also killed in Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square today when she was hit in the head by a shot fired by a sniper. According to the latest information available to Reporters Without Borders, she had gone to the pro-Morsi demonstration in the square in a personal capacity, not as a reporter.

Many Egyptian journalists, especially news photographers, were injured while covering the violent dispersal of the pro-Morsi demonstrations in Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square and Mostafa Mahmoud Square today. According to the Egyptian emergency services and Agence France-Presse, more than 100 people were killed and 758 were wounded in the clashes.

The injured journalists included Reuters photographer Asma Wadi, who was hit in the leg by a shot fired from an AK-47 rifle, doctors said. She is still in hospital and is to undergo an operation.

They also included Tarek Abbas, a reporter for the Egyptian newspaper Al-Watan, who sustained gunshot injuries to an eye and a leg.

Iman Hilal, a photographer for the Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, was covering the sit-in in Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square when Morsi supporters threatened him with a knife and forced him to hand over his camera's memory card.

Photographer Ahmad Najjar sustained a gunshot injury to the arm during the clashes in Mostafa Mahmoud Square. He and colleagues said he was shot by Morsi supporters, who then seized his camera.

A representative of the Egyptian Union of Journalists said most of the media victims were photographers because their greater visibility exposed them to targeted shooting.

Reporters Without Borders is very worried by the way journalists have been targeted during the violence of the past few days in Egypt and urges both the security forces and demonstrators to respect the independence of media personnel.

Reporters Without Borders also calls on the Egyptian authorities to do everything possible to ensure that these serious acts of violence do not go punished and that those responsible are quickly identified.

Late this afternoon, the Egyptian authorities proclaimed a one-month state of emergency, which will make it even harder for journalists to cover developments.

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