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Egypt presidency slams US embassy's statement on TV satirist

Presidency accuses US embassy in Cairo of engaging in 'political propaganda' following embassy's Twitter post condemning recent questioning of TV satirist Bassem Youssef

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 Apr 2013
Mohammed Morsi
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (Photo: AP)
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A Twitter post by the US embassy in Cairo criticising the recent questioning of television satirist Bassem Youssef by the Public Prosecution drew a sharp response from Egypt's presidency on Tuesday.

Responding via Twitter, the presidency accused the US embassy of engaging in "political propaganda" after the embassy posted a video of US television satirist John Stewart poking fun at Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

Stewart also condemned an arrest warrant issued earlier this week for Youssef, whose Al-Bernameg television programme was inspired in part by Stewart's 'The Daily Show.'

Youssef was questioned by public prosecutors following charges that he had insulted Morsi, denigrated Islam and spread false news with the aim of disrupting public order. He was released on bail on Sunday.

"It's inappropriate for a diplomatic mission to engage in such negative political propaganda," read the Twitter post by Egypt's presidency.

On his show, Stewart mocked President Morsi for allegedly targeting media figures and activists instead of dealing with Egypt's growing economic and social problems.

"Without Bassem and all those journalists and bloggers and brave protesters who took to Tahrir Square to voice dissent, you, President Morsi, would not have been in a position to repress them," Stewart claimed.

Earlier, the US State Department had stated that the ongoing investigation of Youssef indicated a "disturbing trend" of growing restrictions on freedom of expression in Egypt.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland asserted that the Egyptian government had failed to show even-handedness when investigating cases of police brutality and attacks against anti-Morsi protesters and journalists.

Egypt's Public Prosecution, meanwhile, has denied that the warrant for Youssef's arrest was political in nature, asserting that it simply represented the application of Egyptian law.

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11



Roslyn
04-04-2013 10:43pm
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Sad or funny!
What no one seems to understand is that Baseem is a 'satirist', he uses 'satire' comedy not just with Morsi and his regime, but towards all and sundry even himself......Baseem mirrors most of the Egyptian population as, if we do not laugh at the 'surreal' situation in Egypt, we will cry or protest! T Just take this example, first the President's office tweeted their disapproval to the US Embassy for their comments, then they denied the tweet, now they are verifying it again, this is either sad or funny take your pick!
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10



Lisa
03-04-2013 06:21pm
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Corruption at its max
I am an American who every time i try to comment, my comments are not posted. Why in the word do Ahram staff moderate comments? Talk about free speech when you don't even respect it. You don't allow us to simply critic morsi and expose him for your own benefits. This is not democracy or respect of human's right and dignity, you're almost remind me of Iran but less extremism than them, but it is getting there. I urge you not to moderate your comments, if you care to be a news channel like MSN and other prominent news channel. Egypt Independent don't moderate any comments but having a facebook application, so you can allow to post with your fb account. Why can't you do the same? Are you afraid of not pleasing Morsi? I am really getting sick of this corrupted Ahram news. I advise you to stick to your Arabic news websites. People in America won't pay attention to your English news because it is filled with corruption.
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9



abdulrahman
03-04-2013 05:48pm
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Show of Double Standard by American Satirist
For almost two years Morsi, an elected President through free and fair elections, endured an endless street demonstrations which many were violent led by el Baradei and gang who were the losers. Then the courts were behaving strangely by overturning legislation made by decree or by the Shura Council. Are all these not terrible jokes?. John Stewart! you should have made fun of el Baradei and the Courts as they are good materials for comedy. Just because they are anti MB and FJP, you chose not to. When the law turns on the Bassem Youssef who appears to be anti MB and FJP, John Stewart poked fun on the Egyptian warrant of arrest. This is evidence of your double standards. Thanks to US Embassy for the twitter posting so as to get Egyptians to know what type of friends they have in the people of democratic USA. Let us all, especially the influential media of the world, including those in USA to help the Egyptians go through the democratic process. Whatever and whoever the Egyptians elects, we must let them govern. John Stewart should call Egyptians to respect election results and not to pour fuel into the fire unjustifiably. Perhaps President Obama needs to repeat his statement that Egyptians decide their own leadership and future. The dynamics of democracy will help to evolve a good and responsible government just like what you have in the USA.The government of President Obama is commendable by continuing the military aid which in a way helps Egypt but at the same time it should persuade the people to quickly go for elections.
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8



Reda Elmasry
03-04-2013 04:41pm
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Bassem Youssef
Dear Mr President, personally I don’t take notice of the American administration, they are with the flow, provoking, pathetic and immature. I think Mr Youssef has stepped the line. Mr President. You permit freedom of speech but people abuse it because they are uneducated enough...
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7



Nora
03-04-2013 02:55pm
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copycat
Bassem is a copycat. US is NOT Egypt, someone has to tell him that. like most copycats, he has problems in generalizing the topic to Muslim socity. Given the fact that the owner of the channel is one of Mubarak's mouthpiece, I would question Bassem' s integrity, in other word he has become part of the campaign against Morsi. The fululs have tried paid thugs and failed, now they are pushing a highly paid copycat. btw, go ahead and dislike this post million times, you still can't manufacture reality.
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6



Jonny Bravo
03-04-2013 12:09pm
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Shame on you Morsi
So Morsi, you cant tolerate some criticism especially in areas where you know you lack and are a complete embarassment to any normal Egyptian with a sense of reason.If I was you, I would take all these comments and try to improve on yourself and your government.These views are not just Bassem Youssef's but plenty of Egyptians.What happened to freedom of speech by the way that you endorsed strongly in your presidency? or does that come with restrictions based on what you want to hear. One last thing shouldnt you be busy fixing your country's collapsing economy fuel, natural gas, electricity, upcoming bankruptcy..or do you have free time to look into what people think of you?
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5



Almisry
03-04-2013 03:53am
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USA is not an example
USA and her alllies arrests arbitrarily to so many Muslims for having different point of views. These are American Muslims. Sheikh Al-Awlaky was murderd by USA. USA are her allies have shut-down PRESS TV of Iran. USA did refuse Aljazeera English to broadcast in the USA for many years. Press freedom in Egypt is thriving. 9 months in new president will get there finaly. UK, USA, Canada and their allies refused entry visa for people like sheikh Bilal Philips, Sheikh Hussein YEE and Dr Zakir Naik for what ? They were only attending public conferences.
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4



Ahmad Almarkhi
03-04-2013 12:48am
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It is a Law Enforcement, Not More.
This is a matter of law enforcement. Mr. Yousef has to comply with the law, and being a TV star does not mean that he is protected from complying with the effective law. In any case, he should defend himself in front of the court, if any, and proof his innocence.
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3



Ahmed
03-04-2013 12:36am
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This is getting rediculous
It's safe to say if we could take the revolution back alot of us would. Morsi and his party have been paving the way to another dictatorship where women's rights, civil rights, journalistic rights and just human rights will be reduced to nothing. This is the worst thing to happen to Egypt in the history of the country and I am ashamed that this is happening in my lifetime and my parents lifetime. This is a scar on the country, Islam and the Middle East. May god have mercy on all Egyptians for the destruction this dictator and his party are going to put on our beloved country
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2



Ahmad Almarkhi
03-04-2013 12:30am
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It is a Law Enforcement, Not More.
This is a matter of law enforcement. Mr. Yousef has to comply with the law, and being a TV star does not mean that he is protected from complying with the effective law. In any case, he should defend himself in front of the court, if any, and proof his innocence.
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