The news out of Egypt just keeps getting scarier — for journalists, too.Reporting on the ongoing uprising in Egypt, ABC news producer Brian Hartman was threatened with decapitation today after his car was surrounded on a crowded road in between Cairo’s airport and the downtown area.
Hartman, his cameraman, and two other ABC news employees were carjacked and driven to “a dusty, beat up street where some people opened up the dinged-up barricades and drove us down to a dingy little cul de sac,” Hartman said.
The two vehicles were quickly engulfed by men who poured out of the alley. “It gradually escalated, the tension and anger in their voice…. It was pretty clear we were in a threatening situation. People were making gestures and putting their fingers under my throat” and making a slitting motion, he said.
“A man in police uniform came up to me and said, ‘So help me God…. I am going to cut off your head,'” Hartman recalled.
One man was yelling, “Cut their necks now, cut their necks now,” and another pointed an imaginary machine gun at Hartman and made shooting noises.
“I couldn’t see outside the windows except angry faces and the gestures. I thought we were absolutely doomed,” Hartman said.”
Hartman also said that were saved by Akram Abi-hann, an ABC cameraman from Lebanon. Abi-hann, appealing to Egyptian values of honour and generosity, hugged and kissed an elder man from the neighbourhood who was standing nearby.
“He gave him a kiss on each cheek and told the man referring to me, ‘He is my guest. He is your guest in this country. Egyptian people are better than this,” Harman told ABC news.
Amazingly, despite some protests over their departure, the crew was left totally uninjured and with all of the cameras and subsequent equipment undamaged.
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