Friday, February 4, 2011

Unconventional Post - Egypt attacks Photojournalists

500 Photographers is about great photography, simple. From fashion and commercial photography to fine art and photojournalism. All the photographers on 500 have one thing in common; they make amazing photographs and excel in what they do. Currently some of the photographers are being targeted and intimidated to make their images and to do their job.

Photo: David Degner
In the past week we all have witnessed the happenings in Egypt. The anti-Mubarak protestors demanding democracy and the departure of President Hosni Mubarak. In the last few days the mood has changed to highly aggressive. People are being beaten, Molotov cocktails are flying through the air and many have been injured.
At the same time the pro-Mubarak protestors and the police started to target the journalists and reporters, making it very hard for them to do their job. Continuously reports are coming in of journalists beaten, kidnapped, imprisoned, their cars and equipment destroyed and machetes put at their throats. Broken bones and serious injuries are the result of Mubarak’s people wanting to stop reporters telling us their story. Experienced reporters that have covered many of the worst wars in the last twenty years let us know that they have never experienced this amount of aggression and danger for them to do their job, not in Afghanistan, Iraq or former Yugoslavia.
The photojournalists, the camera crews and the reporters are our eyes and ears to see what’s happening in Egypt. Hotels that have journalists as their guests are being targeted, embassies from various countries are trying to get the journalists to safety. The Dutch Union for Journalists even called out to journalists not to go to Egypt anymore.

Photo: David Degner
We might see what is happening in Cairo, but very little information is coming from all the other cities in Egypt, and it appears to be just as bad, if not worse. It seems that the green revolution of Iran in 2009 is repeating itself, and we all know the outcome of that story.

Today is Friday, hopefully the day that Mubarak leaves his position. I’m currently sitting in my office, far away from troubles, wondering what I can do and not having any answers. If Hosni Mubarak does not leave today, if the aggression against the Egyptian people, the journalists and reporters continues today then we can not stand by and watch. So let this be a calling to all the governments worldwide to stand up and not only condemn this behavior of Mubarak and his followers, but to take action. Mubarak’s people are targeting our citizens that are working for your government so that you know what’s going on. Even more important; the people of Egypt deserve it.

Photo: David Degner

Next to that I want to applaud all the journalists that are currently in Egypt for the work they do, showing us the atrocities that are happening right now. I wish them luck and safety.
Update Feb. 5, 2011: Journalist Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud (36) was shot while taking pictures from his balcony on January 28th, yesterday he died due to his injuries. We wish his family and friends strength during these hard times.

All images are by David Degner, a photojournalists living in Egypt. I wish him safety and the best of luck. 


Jeanette said...

Damn, i never thought about this angle on what happens in Egypt. Thank you for open my eyes.

d700doug said...

I have never understood a mobs violence against photographers, we are trying to get their story told.

If you are fighting for democracy then you are fighting for free press and freedoms for everyone.

Yet time and time again photographers and journalists get targeted.

Stay safe wherever you are.

Michèle Dassy said...

terrible events and valuable pictures all the more the internet is cut in Egypt!

Anonymous said...

We, the people of Egypt are deeply sorry for everyone who was killed or injured, or even imprisoned in order to get us where we are now; Freedom! The bloodshed stopped finally. And as we celebrate, we also mourn those who paid the price.