Asad Al Sawi, who was covering the unrest in Cairo, presented himself as a BBC reporter when he was surrounded by police, but it did not stop them from repeatedly beating him on the head with batons and steel bars.
Al Sawi was not the only member of the foreign press to be assaulted in Egypt in recent days. In fact, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported that Egyptian police have marked a new target for physical assault: Foreign journalists covering the protests that aim to topple President Hosni Mubarak's government.
An Associated Press photographer was beaten early in the upheaval, and on Friday Egyptian police assaulted CNN correspondents and confiscated their equipment.
Moreover, Al Jazeera reporter Ahmed Mansour was arrested and the Egyptian authorities barred other Al Jazeera journalists from entering the country. As result, the Qatar-based news channel demanded Egypt to stop intervening.
"We call on the Egyptian authorities to preserve the media's right to report freely," said Ayman Gaballah, a senior Al Jazeera official. "No restrictions or limitations should be imposed on the freedom of the press."
Al Jazeera said that the Egyptian government has identified the news channel as a force of incitement, and has been interfering with its broadcasts since Friday morning, as it has done previously.
The news network announced on Friday that Egypt has blocked its live broadcast channel, which normally reaches Egyptian viewers through the Nilesat satellite cable provider. The Telephone service in Al Jazeera's Cairo offices has been disconnected as well.
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