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Swedish reporter stabbed in Cairo drama

TT/AFP/The Local · 3 Feb 2011, 22:27

Published: 03 Feb 2011 16:21 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Feb 2011 22:27 GMT+01:00

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The reporter, "Bert Sundström is seriously injured. He is now at a hospital in Cairo and is being operated on for knife injuries," SVT said on its website.

"It remains unclear what happened when he was hurt," it added.

Earlier Thursday, the broadcaster had said it had lost contact with Sundström and feared he was being held by the Egyptian military.

The reporter had participated in a live broadcast at midday.

However, when his producer called him for another report from Tahrir square two hours later "a voice in Arabic answered and said Bert was being held. Then the connection cut," producer Robert Wiström told SVT.

According to a Swedish translation posted on SVT's website, the voice said:

"Your man is being held by the military. You sons of whores, if you want him back you will have to come get him. Your man is held by the Egyptian government. He is alive and awake."

On Sunday, two other SVT reporters were arrested but released shortly after, SVT said.

"We're seeing a tendency and receiving reports of journalists being systematically attacked and that they're being detained by both the military and security forces, but also by all out mobs," foreign ministry spokesperson Anders Jörle told the TT news agency.

"We're concerned about these developments and hope that editors are aware of them," he said, adding that the foreign ministry's own resources in Cairo are currently under tremendous strain.

"It's not easy for the embassy to help out," he said.

Sundström's hospitalisation comes amid several reports of violence meted out to foreign journalists covering the unfolding political upheaval in the Egyptian as tensions heated up between protestors calling for Mubarak's ouster and supporters of the regime.

World leaders, rights activists and media organisations have denounced the numerous attacks and harassment of journalists attempting to report on the turmoil in Egypt, with the US ambassador in Cairo condemning a "concerted campaign" of intimidation against international journalists.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said it was looking into at least 10 cases of journalists who had been detained on Thursday, the New York Times reported.

"The Egyptian government is employing a strategy of eliminating witnesses to their actions," Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The government has resorted to blanket censorship, intimidation, and today a series of deliberate attacks on journalists carried out by pro-government mobs."

According to the group, the Egyptian government has labeled to detentions as "protective custody" rather than arrests.

Story continues below…

Bildt also expressed his concern for journalists covering events in Egypt in conversations Thursday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

"Naturally, my concerns also addressed the current situation and its escalating violence which also includes attacks on journalists," Bildt said in a blog post.

He also emphasised that "the Egyptian government has a duty to protect individuals' lives and rights, including the right to peacefully express their opinions."

According to Bildt, Aboul Gheit ensured him that newly appointed Egyptian vice president Omar Suleiman planned to launch a dialogue with opposition forces regarding constitutional changes which Bildt characterised as "a precondition for having genuinely free elections."

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:32 February 3, 2011 by Juan Harry Bush
Can anyone say "Hostage"?

That's Next.
22:27 February 3, 2011 by Rolle
Hopefully he's alright and he's to be released soon
23:28 February 3, 2011 by wxman
All Western reporters. American, British, Swedish etc. They are trying to send us a message. They don't care what our political leanings are whether they are left or right, we are Infidels! They hate us all. Wake up call.
00:22 February 4, 2011 by Larry Thrash
Why aren't we talking about citizens of Western countries that aren't reporters. Are reporters lives more important than someone's father or grandmother stuck in Egypt? I don't see any articles or concern about any westerner who isn't a reporter.
00:57 February 4, 2011 by ajs42548
I'm sorry to say this but you reap what you sow. Many in Sweden praise Islamists and portray them as heroes while vilifying Israel. Did I already say that you reap what you sow? Yes, indeed. We are all infidels. Get used to it.
01:45 February 4, 2011 by svenne101
what next to to egypt. a full level islamic country with all shariaw laws under muslim brotherhood will come. there will be no end .

violence will continue until excess(8 to 10 children with 4 wifes) population will be removed on the face of earth.

the dirty tactics of muslims never come true.

100000000000000 dogs can not kill a lion.

it is the only starting . many countries on the line in coming years when food prices rise. actually the food prices are on the run. nothing will happen countries like china , and india, usa,europe,brazil because of money and food reserves they have.

but there are countries like indonesia,pakistan,bangladesh, philiphines,nigeria,iran will fall down into slavery.
03:14 February 4, 2011 by rymagnusson
Uh hey guys you know he was detained by the Egyptian government and not the protesters, right? Maybe you should do some research rather than showing your rampant racism.
08:18 February 4, 2011 by Diis
It is just like somalia ,the butcher of Africa where human life is cheaper than bread. Making somalis one of the most displaced people.even sweden has lost patience for them, by rejecting them family reunification for their kids. Who lastly became shabaabs.
09:32 February 4, 2011 by Nemesis
Ever notice how easy it is for a Swede to get into trouble when outside Sweden?

The guy was hanging around the inside of an uprising, instead of trying to get out of the area as fast as he could. He was looking for trouble.

He is a foreigner in Egypt.

The authorities would rightly want to know what sort of lunatic goes looking for an uprising, in which people are being killed. The authorities will rightly think he is insane or up to something.
11:17 February 4, 2011 by Shibumi

That's what reporters do... they look for trouble and then report on it. And for all of the risks they take in order to shine light into the darkness, the free world should hold them up as heroes.
11:39 February 4, 2011 by Rick Methven
There have been dozens of Journalists of all nationalities who have been attacked, arrested and imprisoned in the past week. The safest place, until Wednesday night, was in the middle of the anti Mubarak protesters who where very happy that the international press was there and able to show the world what is happening and that the opposition was not radical Islam but mainly secular young people. Even the Muslim Brotherhood have been welcoming of foreign journalists.

It is also important to note that every detention of or attack on foreigners press or otherwise, has been done by Government forces or supporters of the regime.

I was heart warming to hear an Egyptian journalist from the State run Nile TV who said that she could not go to work any more and broadcast government lies, when her fellow citizens where being beaten and killed
14:46 February 4, 2011 by alex.49
Im sorry but most of what you guys are saying is "B.S."

I used to live in Egypt for a while, and saying that the Egyptians call us (the West) infidels is totally NOT true, the reporter was stabbed and beaten (along other protesters, reporters and correspondents) by the NDP (the Mubarak's Party) by thugs and secret police, as they are trying to do the impossible to stop the demo's against Mubarak and the world wide condemnation against him.

Dont be naive, do some research before using your keyboard. and to some of you "Stop being Racists!"
14:56 February 4, 2011 by UnmitigatedTruth
What you think you see in Egypt is not the real story. I believe that the reason the Middle East is going through these "demonstrations" are because of President Obama's weakness and leanings toward the Muslim Brotherhood.

I have written about this in: http://www.unmitigated-truth.com/2011/01/you-reap-what-you-sow.html

We are living in dangerous times.
15:08 February 4, 2011 by alex.49
again thats "B.S."

Muslim Brotherhood are a part of the demos, as all the other Egyptian political and non-political spectrum.

Why you translate whatever happens in this world into Islamophobia??
15:35 February 4, 2011 by calebian22
The Brotherhood are indeed part of the demonstrations. It will be catestrophic if those idiots gain one iota of power though. Democracy doesn't exist when Islam is part of government.
15:58 February 4, 2011 by Juan Harry Bush
@ Unmitigated Truth

FYI - Re; Obama's weakness?

Hold on Tight for this one, it's Very Telling !

Take it or Leave it...


Just Sayin' : )
16:37 February 4, 2011 by Luis17lp
we are in the century XXI and not century XIX! Why Egypt has every criminality?
17:04 February 4, 2011 by tuerd1982
Now a days it is very easy to make people hate each other with the help of religion and media. Every people including me just fooled or played by politicians or power whores.
17:26 February 4, 2011 by aroaro
^ not clear what you are attempting to state in this post. Egypt is undergoing a popular revolt against thirty years of martial law under Hosni Mubarak. The media (international press) have not sought to 'make people hate each other'.

In a present circumstance of extreme hostility and blatant suppression of information, the international press has continued to take risks on behalf of freedom of information.

How is that promoting hatred?
17:32 February 4, 2011 by aroaro
@ Juan Harry Bush: The link you posted represents the inflammatory confabulations of America's far right wing. It has no more credibility and makes no stronger case than do the ravings of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and Sarah Palin. Political and religious extremists can only preach to the converted. Anyone with a brain is sensibly skeptical of such lunacies.
01:25 February 6, 2011 by Karen Hedwig Backman
Mubarak and his thugs have made a deadly mistake.

Bert Sundstrom is my cousin and we are a prolific tribe.

There are as many Sundstroms in the world as there are Egyptians and Mubarak will be brought down.
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