Lara Logan, the CBS reporter who was attacked and sexually assaulted by a baying mob of Egyptian protesters, has opened up about her ordeal for the first time, saying that the mob “raped me with their hands.”
“My clothes were torn to pieces,” she said in an interview with The New York Times
published two days before a full account of her ordeal will run on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
“What really struck me was how merciless they were. They really enjoyed my pain and suffering. It incited them to more violence,” said Logan, the network’s chief foreign affairs correspondent.
She estimated that between 200 and 300 men were involved in the horrific Feb. 11 assault she was reporting on the celebrations in Cairo surrounding the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
“The city was on fire with celebration,” Logan, 40, told the Times.
She had interviewed several people in Tahrir Square when her Egyptian colleagues heard a group of men saying they wanted to take her pants off. They warned her to get out. “That was literally the moment the mob set on me.”
Her team found itself helpless to protect her, although one bodyguard managed to grip her for a few seconds. Logan told CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager that her hand was “sore for days” from trying to hold on to the guard.
Logan, a South African, said she will not return to the Middle East in the near future, although she would go to Afghanistan and other conflict zones. “The very nature of what we do — communicating information — is what’s undoing these regimes,” she said. “It makes us the enemy, whether we like it or not.”
And she said she had not realized the level of harassment women face on a daily basis in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. “I would have paid more attention to it if I had had any sense of it,” she said. “When women are harassed and subjected to this in society, they’re denied an equal place in that society.
“Public spaces don’t belong to them. Men control it. It reaffirms the oppressive role of men in the society.”
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