Egypt: Journalists Trapped in Hotel Rooms; Fear 'Knives, Guns, Sticks' Attacks

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"The streets are run by gangs," Voice of America reporter Katayoun Beglari tells THR.

The ongoing crisis in Cairo has raised the danger level for journalists to the point many are now afraid to even leave their hotel.

Katayoun Beglari, who reports for the Voice of America, is among a group of journalists camped out in the Marriott Hotel in Cairo “We’re unable to leave the hotel because outside there are people with knives and guns and sticks,” she told The Hollywood Reporter by phone on Friday.  “The streets are run by gangs.”

Beglari said her cameraman had been beaten in the street a few days earlier, and a Swedish journalist had been knifed and forced to return home. This follows numerous reports by other journalists who have been harassed, attacked and in some cases arrested, apparently to chill their ability to report what is going on in the streets.

Even the Arabic-language news channel al-Jazeera has been attacked. On Friday its office in Cairo was burned along with the equipment inside and some of their reporters were arrested.

“The city we loved so much,” said Beglari, “the city that never sleeps, has turned into a war zone.”