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Egypt satirist Bassem Youssef reported to prosecutor general for insulting El-Sisi

Renowned TV satirist Bassem Youssef once again accused of insulting the president

Ahram Online , Tuesday 30 Sep 2014
Bassem Youssef
Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef (Photo: Bassem Youssef official Facebook page)
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Views: 2021

Renowned television satirist, Bassem Youssef has once again been reported to Egypt's prosecutor general for allegedly insulting President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

Lawyer Samir Sabry reported Youssef to general prosecutor Hisham Barakat on Monday filing a complaint and demanding Barakat to ban Youssef from travel. 

Sabry claimed that the famous satirist insulted the president during a verbal altercation between him and television host Khaled Abu Bakr as well journalist Emad El-Din Hussein, and demanded that Youssef be banned from travel until the end of investigation. 

Abu Bakr made his claim public last Saturday on his official Twitter account, stating that the argument occurred on both he and Youssef’s trip home from New York. 

"While I was at the airport in New York on my way back to Cairo, Bassem Youssef approached me and journalist Emad El-Din Hussein and proceeded to insult and mock El-Sisi with bad and offensive language," he tweeted.

"I told Bassem Youssef not to say such things about the president and to respect that there were ladies sitting nearby but he did not listen, I stopped him from continuing his words and he left," said Abu Bakr in a series of tweets that created controversy on Egyptian television shows and social media networks.

Abu Bakr, who rose to fame after the 25 January uprising as one of revolution’s lawyers, was in New York City covering the United Nations General Assembly meeting as a television host along with Al-Shorouk newspaper editor in chief, Emad El-Din Hussein. Bassem Youssef was visiting the US with his family.

Hussein spoke of his meeting with Youssef in his daily column on Monday.

"I met with Bassem Youssef in New York and he asked me to write about the need to cancel security permits for cyclists who want to train on the Ain El-Sokhna highway, he also criticised the government,” said Hussein who added that during their discussion Khaled Abu Bakr was on the verge of a having a fight with Youssef because of the latter’s criticism of President El-Sisi. 

Following the incident a few tabloid news websites in Egypt claimed that Youssef was being stripped of his Egyptian citizenship. 

Youssef responded to all of these accusations on his twitter account.

"Being reported to the prosecutor where he has been demanded to strip me of Egyptian citizenship and kick me out of the country while also banning me from travel. How this can be possible?!" Youssef tweeted.

This is not the first time Youssef faces such accusations. During the presidency of ousted Mohamed Morsi, Bassem Youssef was investigated on counts of blasphemy and insulting the president. 

Last June, Youssef suspended his popular satire show "Al Bernameg" after three seasons, stating the reason behind the decision being that they did not want to compromise the show by changing its content to please others. 

"The environment that we live in is not suitable for the show and I am tired and we are at the end of our tether," Youssef said in a press conference in June announcing the cancellation of the show.

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