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Bassem Youssef arrives at court in satirical style
Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef arrives at High Court wearing outsized version of hat worn by President Morsi in Pakistan university ceremony; rejects claims he 'insulted' president and Islam on TV show
Ahram Online , Sunday 31 Mar 2013
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Bassem Youssef
Egyptian TV host Bassem Youssef arrives at high court on Sunday in a satirical style poking fun at President Mohamed Morsi by wearing a mock graduation cap similar to one worn by the Egyptian leader when he received an honorary doctorate in Pakistan last month (Photo: facebook.com/11FebFront)

Renowned TV satirist Bassem Youssef arrived at Egypt's High Court on Sunday morning in response to an arrest warrant submitted by the country's top prosecutor.

Youssef turned up at the court wearing an outsized version of the hat worn by President Morsi when he received an honorary doctorate from a university in Pakistan in early March.  

Tweeting from inside the prosecutor-general's office as he undergoes questioning for 'insulting the president,'  television political satirist Bassem Youssef says the prosecution office staff were struggling to find a laptop with proper video software to screen episodes/evidence-against-him of his El-Bernameg show.

"Police officers and lawyers at the prosecutor-general's office want to be photographed with me, maybe this is why they ordered my arrest?" said Youssef sarcastically via his verified Twitter account.

He further added that while they were recording his features, he was described as both thin and average height.

"Then they asked me: What is the colour of your eyes Bassem?" tweeted the green-eyed former physician turned satirist.

Youssef deleted his tweets shortly after noon Sunday, though.

The prosecutor-general had ordered Youssef’s arrest on Saturday after a number of complaints were made against him for allegedly insulting President Mohamed Morsi, denigrating Islam and spreading false news with the aim of disrupting public order.

During a phone interview with popular TV anchor Lamees El-Hadidy on Saturday night, Bassem Youssef rejected the accusation that he had insulted Islam.

“We are not the ones who insult religion, all we do is expose the channels that have misused religion and harmed it more than anyone else. If there is anyone who has insulted religion it is those who use Islam as a weapon for political reasons,” he said, adding that he is determined defy those who “have disfigured my religion [of Islam].”

When asked by El-Hadidy if he had insulted the president, Youssef said, “President Mohamed Morsi? How can anyone insult him, he is the first elected president.”

TV satirist Bassem Youssef also complained that he was not officially summoned for questioning before he received an arrest warrant on Saturday and that this is against legal procedures.

“I was never called for a hearing before [the arrest warrant] was issued, which is the legal norm, and we were surprised to hear the news via the media,” Youssef said via Facebook on Saturday, adding that he would go to the prosecutor-general’s office on Sunday at 9:30am.

Youssef hosts weekly satire show El-Bernameg (The Show) on private satellite channel CBC.

The complaints were filed by 12 people after Youssef's 1 March episode in which he mocked the president's interview with TV anchor Amr El-Leithy in February.

In January, a number of Islamist lawyers filed a separate lawsuit against Youssef for "undermining the standing of the president" during his show but the charges were dropped before the case reached court.

Youssef said he would make himself available to the office of the prosecutor-general on Sunday.

Dozens of supporters of Bassem Youssef rallied outside the office of the prosecutor-general in solidarity with the renowned satirist.





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Ayah
01-04-2013 10:49pm
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bassem and anyone other egyptian
bassem has the right o say his opnion .. not only bassem but every Egyptian as well. why does it matter that the person he talks about is the president? the president is like any other Egyptian. he dosnt have his own laws. Bassem has nothing on him hell come clean out of this.
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enigma
01-04-2013 03:48pm
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Wakeup Call
Considering that the abduction, enslavement, rape, and trafficking of Coptic Christian girls, especially minors, in Egypt is at an all time high since Mohamed Morsi, and the Muslim Brotherhood hijacked the revolution, I would say the arrest of a comic, opposition leader, or The comments from prominent Egyptian cleric Khaled Said, who serves as the official spokesman for the country’s Salafi Front, said “U.S. aid to Egypt is a mandatory tribute that America must pay to honor the Muslim Brotherhood,” just shows the direction or mindset of this group. Before they really go rouge why not pull their chain No More Money ”The United States has allocated another $250 million in aid to Egypt” “Don’t take a vacation to Egypt” The group is not dumb it won’t take long before the light goes on that if they want to keep power they have to change.
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agski48
01-04-2013 03:32pm
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cutting edge
Bassem is on the cutting edge of a newly formed democracy. Morsi, an 'elected' public servant, needs to listen, not talk. Good luck on that, Morsi. I can tell Bassem loves his country, and like a wayward child to be corrected, he corrects with humor.
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6



Joe Harkins
01-04-2013 02:26pm
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Captain of My Honor, Protector of My Own Soul, Lover of My Own God
Any person or system of belief, be it political, religious, social, artistic or corporate, that is offended or threatened by words or symbols of satire, mockery or ridicule is, by it's reaction, the self-made and justifiable target of those words. R=that is the simple reason why they must be made the repeated target of such words until they wither away or mature. The people of Egypt have the same basic human rights and dignity as any other in the world. They do not need the prior approval of any person or special law.
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5



mohd al jahdali
01-04-2013 06:24am
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democray
Bassem yousef has to know that there is no democracy in Egypt and he has to take care, now mursi and his relatives are directing the country plus this group called muslemeen akhwan
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Democratia
31-03-2013 10:42pm
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Blue eyes...
Especially for you, Bassim Youssef: Blue eyes, Baby's got blue eyes, like a clear blue sky watching over Egypt. Blue eyes, oh I love blue eyes, when I'm by your side where I long to be, I will see: Blue eyes laughing in the sun, laughing in the rain, Baby's got blue eyes, and I am home, and I am home again... Sorry, Sir Elton John, that I stole your great lyrics, a little bit changed for a great Egyptian person with blue eyes.... And thanks Bassim Youssef for your courage and genius and the way you make us laugh tears about autocratic politicians...
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Theorus
31-03-2013 06:19pm
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Who's laughing?
I am sure that many in Egypt thought that this was the kind of thing (or one of the things) that their popular revolution was supposed to have got rid of. Similar arrests happen in other countries in that area, as well as China and elsewhere. It is not just comedians of course, but many who seek freedom of speech in such places are under threat. Some resort to social media like Facebook to express their points of view, if they can get away with it. In Italy, comedian Beppe Grillo attracted a quarter of his country's votes for his new party in the recent general election. Presumably it couldn't happen in Egypt, China etc. What those regimes have never seemed to grasp is that the more you try to suppress those who wish to exercise free speech, the more determined you make those people and their supporters. In the end, free speech will win, even if it takes many years or even generations. But dictatorships – and this is what these regimes are – are afraid of the force of argument:
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2



Fillybuster
31-03-2013 02:24pm
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ALLAH Laughs!
Too bad politicians cannot.
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1



Col. Bahey Elsherbiny
31-03-2013 01:27pm
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What a shame?
What a shame of this Bassem Youssef. He pokes fun at the prosecutor-general himself. That is not freedom or democracy; it is an anarchy. The owner of TV channel that hosts this clown must be sued.
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Ashok
01-04-2013 03:42am
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What a shame on Clown Bassem Yossef
Col. what do you expect the owner of the TV channel is a Coptic business man with majority of the steaks.
Hussein
31-03-2013 10:43pm
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What a shame to have people like you supporting the president
The muslim brotherhood with all its allies represent a very tiny portion of the entire population. The presented was elected because of ignorance, bribes, and to be honest, the power of unity of the brotherhood. However, this won't last long, God willing. You know what? I like how you used the word "anarchy". It actually is exactly what we need right now to rise up against the diseased system and corrupt government officials.
SuperMorsi
31-03-2013 09:34pm
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We have a joker in the house
It seems that you are a comedian too Colonel.
Jorim
31-03-2013 03:43pm
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Send in the clowns
How is that anarchy? He is speaking his mind, which, if i remember correctly, Morsi promised was allowed. What all of that actually is, is a government using fear tactics to run the people. Much like almost every country in the world. These governments need to stop using religion as a tool, and they need to start respecting their people, not just their wallets.
Masri
31-03-2013 01:58pm
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Freedom of speech
No, it's not anarchy it's freedom of speech. Morsi and the prosecutor-general are not gods. They deserve no more respect than the average Egyptian. If I want to insult with the most vicious insults that come to mind I will because I will not restrain myself when it comes to expressing my opinion. Nothing is holy, everything is subject to criticism. Restrictions on freedom of speech is not freedom of speech, it's you're-allowed-to-say-anything-you-want-as-long-as-you-agree-with-us-speech.

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