The sexual assault by a celebrating mob on the night Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak resigned has left a deep psychological scar on Lara Logan, who was there with her crew to report on the events. She is still dealing with the aftermath.
The CBS News correspondent reveals that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and that the images of the events of Feb. 11, 2011 continue to haunt her.
She told The New York Daily News that people don’t know that much about PTSD, save for media references to it in relation, usually, to veterans who served in combat zones. "There's something called latent PTSD. It manifests itself in different ways. I want to be free of it, but I'm not,” she said.
The nightmare visions come to her at unexpected times, seemingly during peaceful moments and lulls during the day or evening. "It doesn't go away," Logan noted. "It's not something I keep track of. It's not predictable like that. But it happens more than I'd like."
The seasoned war reporter was covering the celebrations in Tahrir Square following Hosni Mubarak's resignation when she was surrounded by a crowd of 200 to 300 men, who had earlier been making inappropriate sexual remarks about her. Someone had apparently had shouted that she was an Israeli or Jew, which set the mob off. They tore off her clothes and raped her with their hands, while onlookers took pictures with their cellphones. They began pulling her body in different directions, pulling her hair so hard that it felt like they were trying to pull chunks off her scalp.
Logan was dragged like this through the square, until the crowd was stopped by a fence. A group of women, who were camping alongside it, stepped in and put their arms and bodies around the reporter, while the men they were with threw some water on the mob. A group of soldiers appeared on the scene and beat back the crowd with batons, and then took Logan to safety.
Logan was flown back to the U.S. the next day, where she was admitted and treated at a hospital for four days. It remains unclear who the attackers were, and it is unlikely that they will ever be prosecuted.
Logan told about her ordeal on a 60 Minutes segment aired in April last year. She said did it because she wanted to address the prevalence of sexual assault in Egypt, and to break the silence about the sexual violence women reporters are reluctant to report in case it prevents them from doing their jobs.
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