A journalism student has written about how she was was the victim of a “horrific sexual and physical attack” at the hands of an Egyptian mob.
Natasha Smith, who is studying an MA in International Journalism at University College Falmouth, has written about how she was attacked in Cairo’s Tahrir Square while there filming a documentary.
She wrote in her blog about how the jubilant and excited atmosphere in the square changed “in a split second”.
Natasha wrote: “Men had been groping me for a while, but suddenly, something shifted. I found myself being dragged from my male friend, groped all over, with increasing force and aggression. I screamed. I could see what was happening and I saw that I was powerless to stop it. I couldn’t believe I had got into this situation.
“My friend did everything he could to hold onto me. But hundreds of men were dragging me away, kicking and screaming. I was pushed onto a small platform as the crowd surged, where I was hunched over, determined to protect my camera.
“But it was no use. My camera was snatched from my grasp. My rucksack was torn from my back – it was so crowded that I didn’t even feel it. The mob stumbled off the platform – I twisted my ankle.
“Men began to rip off my clothes. I was stripped naked. Their insatiable appetite to hurt me heightened. These men, hundreds of them, had turned from humans to animals.
“Hundreds of men pulled my limbs apart and threw me around. They were scratching and clenching my breasts and forcing their fingers inside me in every possible way. So many men. All I could see was leering faces, more and more faces sneering and jeering as I was tossed around like fresh meat among starving lions.”
She said she was protected by a small minority of men who sheltered her in a tent before she was smuggled away disguised in a burka and taken to hospital.
Natasha wrote that despite her horrific experience she is determined to return to Eygpt at some point to finish her documentary once she feels ready.