Egyptian state body warns CBC it may lose licence over Bassem Youssef

Ahram Online, Tuesday 2 Apr 2013

General Authority for Investment (GAFI), which runs the media complex where channel CBC is based, says that popular satirist's show insults public figures and spreads profanity

Bassem Youssef
Popular Egyptian television satirist Bassem Youssef waves to his supporters as he enters Egypt's prosecutor-general's office to face accusations of insulting Islam and the country's Islamist leader in Cairo (Photo: AP)

State body the General Authority for Investment (GAFI) has warned television channel CBC it will revoke its licence if prominent satirist Bassem Youssef’s weekly show ‘El-Bernameg’ does not comply with the standards of the media free zone, where the channel is based.

All television channels that work inside the media free zone, located in the satellite city of 6 October on the outskirts of Cairo, must abide by an ethical code and a number of regulations.

According to the warning sent to CBC, GAFI received complaints against Bassem Youssef and the content he presents in his weekly show on the channel, accusing him of insulting state icons and public figures. The authority also added that the show included profanity and the use of sexual language in unacceptable way.

CBC’s administration asserted that it is careful to comply with the law, the media ethics code, and the terms of its broadcast licence. The administration also added that the issue that the warning deals with is currently in the hands of judiciary and a verdict has not yet been issued.

Popular television show host and satirist Youssef is currently facing charges of insulting President Morsi and denigrating Islam. An arrest warrant was issued for him last week and he was interrogated by prosecutors, then bailed on Sunday.

El-Bernameg is filmed at a theatre in downtown Cairo. 

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