Egyptian TV host Bassem Youssef accused of insulting Morsi

Ahram Online, Sunday 23 Dec 2012

Egyptian prosecutors have received a complaint accusing Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef of offending the president during his Jon Stewart-style politics show

A complaint was filed on Sunday with the prosecutor-general accusing prominent television satirist Bassem Youssef and the channel his television programme appears on, CBC, of offending President Mohamed Morsi during his weekly show Al-Bernameg (The Programme), a format which was inspired by renowned American television host John Stewart's comedic look at politics, the Daily Show.

The accusation concerns an episode dubbed ‘the Presidential Pillow’, which featured Youssef holding a cushion with hearts and the president’s picture printed on it.

Youssef for his part responded to the news via his Twitter account with characteristic humour, demanding that the president autograph the pillow.

A number of similar accusations of insulting the president have been raised against public figures since Morsi came to power, including television anchor Mahmoud Saadi, psychiatrist Manal Omar and journalist Abdel-Halim Qandil.

Bishoy Kamel, a teacher from Sohag, also received a six-year sentence recently for sharing a controversial anti-Islamic film and insulting the president and his family via his Facebook page, charges which he denied.

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