Leila Fadel, the Washington Post’s Cairo bureau chief and a 2004 graduate of Northeastern University, is reportedly among a number of journalists who have been detained by Egyptian authorities. According to the Post, Fadel, staff photographer Linda Davidson and a translator who was working with them have been taken into custody. (See update below.)
“We understand that they are safe but in custody, and we have made urgent protests to Egyptian authorities in Cairo and Washington,” Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl is quoted as saying. “We’ve advised the State Department, as well.”
Mubarak’s Egypt is surely not Iran or North Korea, but the situation for reporters has been deteriorating in the past few days. In one high-profile incident, CNN’s Anderson Cooper was assaulted. Journalists at Al Jazeera, whose coverage has been invaluable, have come under attack and harassment as well. The New York Times reports:
The attacks on journalists started almost as soon as violent clashes began on Wednesday near Tahrir Square, as orchestrated waves of pro-government forces swept in, using rocks, bats, and knives and Molotov cocktails against the anti-government protesters.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has a round-up of incidents involving journalists. Says CPJ official Mohamed Abdel Dayem: “The Egyptian government is employing a strategy of eliminating witnesses to their actions.”
More from Reporters Without Borders.
Update (2 p.m.): Fadel tells the Washington Post that she and Davidson have been released. Several local Post employees remain accounted for and are believed to be in custody.