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Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Prosecution orders release of stand-up comedian accused of mocking state-owned religious radio station

Comedian Mohamed Ashraf issued an apology to the radio station and its radio hosts

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Sunday 22 Nov 2020
General Prosecution
General Prosecution office (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Cairo prosecution has ordered the release of a stand-up comedian after his arrest over “mocking the state-owned Al-Quran Al-Kareem (The Holy Quran)" radio station at one of his shows. 
 
The prosecution ordered the release of Mohamed Ashraf, a young stand-up comedian, who detained 12 November after a video of one of his performances that dated back to January went viral online. 
 
During his two-minute stand-up comedy performance at 'The Glocal Show’ event, Ashraf tells jokes about the popular radio station’s broadcasters' elocution. He mocks their techniques, describing their way as “peculiar.”
 
The video sparked a wave of outrage, with authorities urged to question Ashraf over his performance after receiving a complaint from the National Media Authority and the State Radio and TV Union, to which the station is affiliated. 
 
Ashraf published a video before his detention apologising to the station's hosts. 
 
“First, I apologise to everyone who took my performance in a wrong way and thought that I was mocking the station, I especially apologise to the radio hosts in the Holy Quran station because I did not mean to mock or belittle anyone. I only imitate the radio hosts,” he said.
 
Ashraf added that he spoke directly with the station’s famous host Hagar Saad El-Din, whom he mentioned in the performance, and apologised to her personally in a telephone call, saying that he did not mean to belittle anyone, adding that she accepted his apology.
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