Mick Deane went to work on Wednesday much as he had for the past 40 years, lugging a TV camera. As street violence tumbled about him in Cairo, Deane squinted into his camera and began rolling.
Within hours, Deane, 61, was dead, one among scores of victims in a bloody series of clashes across Egypt between security forces and supporters of the nation’s ousted president, Mohamed Morsi.
Deane, who worked for the British broadcaster Sky News, was the husband of former Washington Post reporter Daniela Deane. A 15-year veteran of Sky, Mick Deane was one of three journalists reported killed in Egypt on Wednesday.
Also killed Wednesday was Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, a 26-year-old reporter for Xpress, a sister publication of Dubai’s Gulf News. She was fatally shot near Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, the scene of a major crackdown by the Egyptian military and police on a pro-Morsi encampment. Abd Elaziz was on leave from the newspaper and was visiting Egypt, her native country, Gulf News said.
Social media users in Egypt reported the death of a local news photographer, but the reports could not be confirmed.
At least a dozen other journalists were detained, injured or threatened Wednesday as the violence raged, suggesting increasing danger for journalists in an already hostile working environment. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said it has documented at least 78 assaults on journalists in Egypt from August 2012 until Morsi’s removal from office early last month.
The detained reporters included Tom Finn of Reuters, who tweeted his arrest and eventual release, and Newsweek’s Mike Giglio, who wrote an account of his detention for the Daily Beast on Wednesday morning. In it, Giglio said he and several other journalists, including freelance photographers Mahmoud Abou Zeid and Louis Jammes, were beaten in police custody after identifying themselves as journalists.
Sky News said Deane, a British citizen, was based in Jerusalem, where he lived with his American wife. The couple have two adult sons, who work in London and Rome. The family lived in the Washington area for more than a decade; Mick Deane worked at Sky’s Washington bureau while his wife was at The Post. They moved to London in 2009 and to Israel in 2012.
Sky said Deane was shot while filming Wednesday morning and died from his injuries a little later. Some of the video he shot Wednesday was posted on the broadcaster’s Web site.
Daniela Deane, now a freelance reporter, writes a blog called Letter From the Holy Land about life in Israel. She worked for The Post until 2008 as an editor and staff writer, primarily covering real estate. She continued to freelance for the newspaper from abroad until last year.
Sky News chief John Ryley, in a video tribute, called Mick Deane “an astonishingly good cameraman, [who] took some brilliant pictures. But he also had a first-class editorial brain. He had brilliant ideas.”
Washington Post Managing Editor Kevin Merida called Deane’s death “a tragic loss.” He said, “Our hearts are heavy with sadness for our former colleague, Daniela, and the entire Deane family.”
Other journalists were swept up in the fast-moving events in Cairo on Wednesday.
Reuters photographer Asmaa Waguih, was shot in the leg while reporting, according to freelance photojournalist Haleem Elsharani. A mob attacked Kristen Chick, a reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, stealing her phone and notebook. Several other journalists, including The Post’s Abigail Hauslohner, reported threats from police on the scene, who reportedly broke cameras and wiped images from phones.
“If I see you again, I will shoot you in the leg,” one police officer told Hauslohner.
Newsweek’s Giglio wrote on Daily Beast that he was released from police custody after four hours but that “many others, including other journalists, were not so lucky.”
In a statement, Robert Mahoney, deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, which advocates for reporters, said: “We call on Egyptian authorities to issue clear orders to security forces to respect the right of journalists to work freely and safely while covering events in Cairo and the rest of the country. The killing of Mick Deane underscores the urgent need for such action and for all sides to show restraint and allow the media to do their job. The authorities must investigate all attacks on journalists and hold those responsible to account.”