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A joke too far – top satirist Bassem Youssef arrested over insults to President Morsi

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ALASTAIR BEACH
London Independent
April 1, 2013

He is one of Egypt’s most famous television stars – a wildly popular satirist whose Friday night shows are eagerly awaited by tens of millions of viewers.

But tonight, the Egyptian authorities were facing accusations of conducting a political witch-hunt after Bassem Youssef – whose weekly programme regularly lampoons the President, Mohamed Morsi, and his Islamist allies – was arrested over allegations that he insulted Mr Morsi and the Islamic faith.

Youssef answered his summons to the general prosecutor’s office in Cairo today in typically irreverent fashion. Mobbed by cameramen and a few dozen supporters, he arrived wearing an absurdly oversized graduation hat – the kind donned by President Morsi when he was awarded an honorary degree in Pakistan last month.

“Police officers and lawyers at the prosecutor-general’s office want to be photographed with me,” he said via his Twitter account after entering the building. “Maybe this is why they ordered my arrest?”

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This article was posted: Monday, April 1, 2013 at 5:31 am





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