The Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF) has sent financial assistance to help cover the medical costs of Ahmed Fiqqy, an Egyptian journalist who was shot in the eye by a sniper last week.
Fiqqy, a radio reporter with the independent organisation Hoqook, was working on November 21. After presenting ‘Hoqooq Cafe’, a programme which has recently been covering the protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, he visited the demonstration himself with a colleague, Walid Hammad, to gather information.
At 10pm they approached Mohamed Mahmoud Street from the square to get a view of the street battles between protesters and riot police. Tear gas clouded part of the street and people started running in their direction. They paused for a moment to look at what was happening. At that moment, Fiqqy was hit by a bullet in his left eye. According to Walid, no other bystanders were hit at the same time. The bullet is still is his brain, his retina is broken and he needs urgent surgery.
Fiqqy is conscious and his though his brain is functioning in terms of speech and motion, he complains about continuous eye pain. He is in a huge state of shock and suffering psychological distress.
Fiqqy is just one of the journalists who has been attacked during recent clashes in Egypt ahead of key elections which began today.
On November 24, two female foreign journalists described assaults carried as they tried to cover demonstrations in Tahrir Square. Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy said she was sexually assaulted by police during hours under detention after taking part in protests. Caroline Sinz, a French journalist, said she and her cameraman had been confronted by a mob in a road leading from Tahrir to the interior ministry.
The DCMF is in contact with several organisations in Egypt and the Emergency Assistance team will continue to monitor the situation and support journalists in difficulty.