U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has strongly condemned the attacks on journalists covering the ongoing situation in Egypt, terming it as a “violation of international norms“.

“This is a violation of international norms that guarantee freedom of the press and is unacceptable under any circumstances,” Ms. Clinton told reporters at joint conference with Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Gordan Jandrokovic.

“The Egyptian government must demonstrate its willingness to ensure journalists’ ability to report on these events to the people of Egypt and to the world,” she said.

Ms. Clinton also condemned in the strongest terms attacks on peaceful demonstrators, human rights activists, foreigners and diplomats.

“Freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and freedom of the press are pillars of an open and inclusive society... It is especially in times of crisis that governments must demonstrate their adherence to these universal values,” she said.

Ms. Clinton said it is a responsibility of the Egyptian government and the Army to protect those who are threatened and to hold accountable those who are responsible for these attacks.

The Secretary of State asked the Egyptian government to immediately start the negotiation process for peaceful transition in the country.

“I urge the government and a broad and credible representation of Egypt’s Opposition, civil society, and political factions to begin immediately serious negotiations on a peaceful and orderly transition. The Egyptian people expect a meaningful process that yields concrete changes,” Ms. Clinton added.

On Thursday, menacing gangs backing Mr. Mubarak attacked journalists and human rights activists as government opponents pushed supporters out of Cairo’s main square. The government has accused media outlets of being sympathetic to protesters who want the President to quit now.

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