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Photojournalist Shot by Egyptian Police Recounts Experience

Web ExclusiveFebruary 07, 2011
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Wally Nell is a Cairo-based photojournalist who works with ZUMA Press. On January 25, Nell was shot by the Egyptian police while photographing protests on the October 6 Bridge. “We were very deliberately targeted… The guy drove up, saw us, and then fired,” he says.

WALLY NELL: My name is Wally Nell. I’m a photojournalist working in the Middle East, representing ZUMA Press. And on January the 25th, myself and another photographer by the name of Dana Smillie were on top of a bridge, on top of the October 6 Bridge in Cairo. We were photographing the protests going on. We are about 150 meters from the closest protesters, and we were very obviously journalists. I mean, we had cameras hanging down our sides, and there was no way that we could be mistaken for anything but journalists.

On the other side of the bridge, the police armored vehicle approached, stopped about a hundred meters away, and a man popped out with a shotgun, took aim, and first shot Dana in the rear end and in the arm and the hand, and then took aim again and then shot me in the head and the back as we ran away. Dana is fine, as far as I know. I sustained about 18 pellet wounds to the head and back area. And we were very deliberately targeted. There was no way that there was any confusion as to who we were or what we were. The guy drove up, saw us, and then fired.

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