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Natasha Smith, British Journalist Sexually Attacked In Tahrir Square, Vows To Return To Egypt

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Natasha Smith, who is studying journalism at Falmouth, has vowed to return to Egypt as soon as she can
Natasha Smith, who is studying journalism at Falmouth, has vowed to return to Egypt as soon as she can

Natasha Smith, the British journalist who was the victim of a horrific physical and sexual attack in Egypt’s Tahrir Square, will return to the country despite her ordeal.

Speaking to the Huffington Post UK, the 22-year-old said that she had to return as "the show must go on".

The journalism student was filming a documentary in Egypt when she was swept up in the post-election celebrations on Sunday.

As she approached Tahrir Square, the crowds thickened, and she was snatched from her friend

"Hundreds of men were dragging me away, kicking and screaming," she wrote in a blog detailing the attack.

"I was stripped naked. 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. I was tossed around once more, being violated every second."

Natasha said that she was still in shock following the attack. She returned to the UK on Tuesday, the day she posted her blog, but said what happened to her “still hasn't really sunk in yet”.

"I'm so grateful that people are so interested and have been so incredibly supportive. I'm just trying to deal with all the media requests."

Originally from Dorset but studying in Falmouth, Smith said she felt it was important to channel the experience. "It's not just me who has experienced this in Egypt".

"I just want to channel this and use it to highlight what women are experiencing all over Egypt."

Although Smith had her camera stolen, she is hoping to get enough money together to buy new equipment and return to the country she still has "a lot of love" for.

"It hasn't changed my view of Egypt. The people there are very loving and supportive. This attack was committed by a small number of people. I had lots of support and people in the crowd were trying to help me.

"If it hadn't been for the people in the crowd it could have been much worse and the embassy was really helpful, they booked my flight and one woman stayed with me the whole time.

“The attack hasn't changed my attitude and I want to go back to Egypt to finish filming. I just have to get enough money together.

“The attack has changed my focus. I will be focusing more on the sexual harassment of women, rather than on their role on politics and society."

"I have to spread awareness; it is my duty to do so," she writes on her blog, adding: "I have to do this; I will not be driven into submission. I will overcome this and come back stronger and wiser."

A foreign office spokesman said: "We are aware of an incident involving two British Nationals in Tahrir Square on 24 June 2012. We provided consular assistance."

Natasha isn't the first female journalist to have been sexually attacked in Egypt. Last year, American correspondent Lara Logan was sexually assaulted in the same square while working for CBS television. Logan told Women Under Siege it was difficult to read Smith's blog, and that she saw similarities to her own experience: "The way the mob came after her; the way the men looked—so close to you—and the faces of the people who looked away."

Read Natasha's blog here.