Brotherhood preacher allegedly attacks women photojournalists at Morsy speech in Tahrir
By Iqbal Tamimi
The Egypt Independent published an article on Sat, 30/06/2012 accusing Sawfat Hegazy, the pro-Muslim Brotherhood preacher who gave the sermon at Friday’s gathering in Tahrir Square, of physically and verbally attacking two women photojournalists covering the day’s events.
One is a free-lance French photographer, and the other is a staff photographer for Egypt Independent.
The altercation claimed took place on the side of the stage near Mohamed Mahmoud Street, before the arrival of Morsy, who took the presidential oath and delivered a speech in the square a day earlier.
The report claims the two journalists were standing with other photographers and cameramen in the area when they were approached by a man who claimed to be from security, and told them to leave the area. They refused, saying there were many other photographers standing there and they were within a safe distance from the stage.
Hegazy then approached the two women, telling them to leave. After they refused, on the basis that he was not from security and there was no reason for their exclusion, he returned, and tried to erect a large sound box in their line of view of the stage.
After he failed to erect it, Egypt Independent photographer Virginie Nguyen said he grew angry and approached them, screaming, throwing Nguyen’s camera bag in her face, and shoving them both.
Still shoving them, she said he yelled “Go, go, go!” and continued to kick the French freelancer Magali standing next to Nguyen, who asked that she be referred to by first name only.
Photographer Amo Shehab posted a picture on Twitter of the two women following the attack, showing Magali visibly upset and crying.
“Sorry, this is a picture of the girl that Safwat Hegazy beat and made cry,” he wrote.
Nguyen said surrounding men intervened to stop the attack, and security officials told the two women they could stay where they were for the remainder of Morsy’s appearance.
Hegazy returned and briefly apologized before Morsy’s arrival, Nguyen said.
The incident occurred hours after Hegazy addressed the gathering in the square in his Friday sermon
“The people want a civilian state that is free of that which angers God the almighty,” he told them.