Cairo (CNN) — Amid the celebrations that greeted the declaration of a winner in Egypt’s first freely elected presidential vote, a British student journalist was being sexually assaulted by a mob in Tahrir Square.
Natasha Smith recounted the experience on her blog and in an interview with CNN. Smith, who has since left Egypt, wrote that the moving demonstrations of freedom turned to horror “in a split second” when dozens of frenzied men dragged her away from two male companions and began to grope her “with increasing force and aggression.”
“Men started ripping off all my clothes,” she told CNN. “First of all, it was my skirt, and that just went straight away, and I didn’t even feel my underwear being removed. Then my shoes went and clothes on my upper half were just being ripped off me, and that was quite painful.”
During the assault, “I was just in this weird, detached state of mind, and I just kept saying, ‘Please God, please make it stop. Please, God, make it stop.’ ”