Egypt satirist faces probe for insulting president
[Reuters] An Egyptian satirist who made fun of President Mohamed Mursi on television will be investigated by prosecutors following an accusation that he undermined the leader's standing, a judicial source said on Tuesday.
Ahah. Not being allowed to make fun of His Excellency el Presidente, he hopes For Life. The very essence of freedom of speech.
Bassem Youssef's case will increase worries about freedom of speech in the post-Hosni Mubarak era, especially when the country's new constitution includes provisions criticized by rights activists for, among other things, forbidding insults.
In a separate case that fuels concern about press freedom, one of Egypt's leading independent newspapers said it was being investigated by the prosecutor following a complaint from the presidency, which accused it of publishing false news.
Youssef rose to fame following the uprising that swept Mubarak from power in February 2011 with a satirical online programme that was compared with Jon Stewart's Daily Show.
He has since had his own show on Egyptian television and mocked Mursi's repeated use of the word "love" in his speeches by starting one of his programmes with a love song, holding a red pillow with the president's face printed on it.
The prosecutor general ordered an investigation into a formal complaint against Youssef by an Islamist lawyer. The complaint accuses him of "insulting" Mursi, an Islamist backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, and "undermining his standing".
Posted by: Fred 2013-01-02