US reporter beaten covering Bahrain unrest

A US reporter was beaten by thugs armed with clubs early while covering the unrest in Bahrain, the US network reported.

Last Updated: Feb 17, 2011, 23:45 PM IST

Washington: A US reporter for ABC News was
beaten by thugs armed with clubs early on Thursday while covering
the unrest in Bahrain, the US network reported.

Correspondent Miguel Marquez was caught in the crowd and
attacked while covering protests in Manama, ABC said.

Marquez, who said he was not badly injured, was clubbed
while he was on the phone with his headquarters in New York
describing the scene as riot police stormed through a Manama
square in the dark in a harsh crackdown on anti-regime
protesters.

"No! No! No! Hey! I`m a journalist here!" he yelled while
still on the phone. "I`m going! I`m going! I`m going! I`m
going! ... I`m hit."

He said that the thugs pulled his camera out of his
hands.

"I just got beat rather badly by a gang of thugs,"
Marquez said in a later call to ABC headquarters. "I`m now in
a marketplace near our hotel where people are cowering in
buildings."

Witnesses and opposition said that four people were
killed and up to 95 wounded when police launched the operation
in the iconic Pearl Square without warning at around 3:00 am
(midnight GMT), sending protesters fleeing in panic.

CBS News said its top foreign correspondent Lara Logan
suffered a brutal sexual assault at the hands of a mob in
Egypt while covering the downfall of president Hosni Mubarak
last week.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said
yesterday that it was concerned "about the continued assaults
on journalists covering anti-government demonstrations in the
Middle East."

"In recent days, journalists have been obstructed,
assaulted, or detained in Libya, Bahrain, Iran, and Yemen,"
the watchdog group said.

It also said the Bahrain government "has selectively
reduced the speed of Internet connections inside the country
for the past two days."

The Internet is being slowed down "in newspaper offices,
hotels, and homes but not in governmental institutions", and
the video-sharing website Bambuser had been blocked.

PTI