Egyptian Activist to CNN: ‘You Are Part of the Revolution’ (video)

Wael Ghonim says presence of news stations helped protect demonstrators

Last Updated: February 11, 2011 @ 12:21 PM

The revolution was televised, and it may have saved lives.

So said Egyptian activist and Google executive Wael Ghonim (left) in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer after President Hosni Mubarak's resignation.

“You guys have played a great role in saving the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people," said Ghonim, who was among the activisits taken into secret police custody during the 18 days of demonstrations.

"This regime did not care about the people, and they would have killed a lot of people if there was no international media. CNN did a great job. You guys deserve a great recognition from all the Egyptian people and we are not going to forget your role."

He added: "You guys are heroes as well. You are part of the revolution. You should be proud of yourself.”

Mubarak would dispute that his government didn't care about the people: In his remarks Thursday, before his resignation, he promised justice for the "martyrs" killed and injured in the demonstrations against him. He also promised not to bow to foreign interests.

But there is no question international media put themselves in serious danger to cover the story — along with the hundreds of thousands of Egyptians who took to the streets.  Reporters Without Borders said it had received "dozens of confirmed reports of violence against local and international journalists."

Among them: CNN's Anderson Cooper and a Fox News crew were brutally attacked, and New York Times reporters described a harrowing night in which they and other journalists were held by authorities.

The Times reporters said they were treated far better than Egyptian demonstrators, who they heard being beaten throughout the night.

Cooper seemed to take the attacks most personally, dedicating his broadcast Thursday night to exposing the "lies" of Mubarak's regime.

It turned out the be the last broadcast Cooper would air during Mubarak's rule.

Ghonim's interview:

 

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