Egypt Cop to ABC Producer: I'll Cut Off Your Head

Chilling threat part of mounting attacks on journalists
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Feb 4, 2011 2:41 AM CST
Updated Feb 4, 2011 7:50 AM CST
French photojournalist from SIPA Press agency Alfred Yaghobzadeh is aided by anti-government protesters after being wounded. Journalists are coming under increasing attack by government supporters.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Police threatened an ABC News journalist covering the crisis in Egypt with decapitation in one of a mounting series of attacks on reporters. Two vehicles carrying producer Brian Hartman and three other ABC employees were carjacked to an isolated neighborhood yesterday where an angry mob surrounded them and a police officer warned: "So help me God, I am going to cut off your head," Hartman recalled. "One man was yelling, 'Cut their necks now, cut their necks now.' I thought were were absolutely doomed."

The men were saved by an ABC Lebanese cameraman who embraced an elder in the crowd and told him: "He is your guest in this country. Egyptian people are better than this," said Hartman. In a tweet, he said there was a Mubarak banner over the scene, "but anger at perceived media bias was genuine." More than 100 journalists, including Anderson Cooper and Katie Couric, have been menaced, beaten, stabbed and held at gunpoint by supporters of Hosni Mubarak. The White House and State Department have condemned the "systematic targeting" of journalists as a "concerted campaign to intimidate."

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