Natasha Smith a freelance British journalist was in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday June 24 at Tahrir Square where thousands had gathered to celebrate the election of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi as the nation’s first Islamist president.
Smith was in Cairo according to the website CPJ to film an independent documentary on women’s rights and abuses against women in Egypt since the revolution.
Not long after she and friends had made their way to Tahrir Square things turned ugly very quickly as mob mentality set in and Smith became a target it would seem because she was a woman and was physically and sexually assaulted.
She wrote on her blog about her horrifying ordeal which reads in part, Men began to rip off my clothes. I was stripped naked. Their insatiable appetite to hurt me heightened. These men, hundreds of them, had turned from humans to animals.
Hundreds of men pulled my limbs apart and threw me around. They were scratching and clenching my breasts and forcing their fingers inside me in every possible way. So many men. All I could see was leering faces, more and more faces sneering and jeering as I was tossed around like fresh meat among starving lions.
On Friday February 11, 2011 CBS News reporter Lara Logan was also sexually assaulted and beaten in Tahrir Square while she was covering the reaction of the stepping down of then Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
You can watch Logan’s interview with Scott Pelley about the assault in a video from 60 Minutes.