'Egyptian Jon Stewart' questioned for insulting Morsi

By REUTERS
March 31, 2013 16:00

 
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CAIRO - Egyptian prosecutors questioned Egypt's most prominent television satirist on Sunday over allegations he insulted the president and Islam, a case that has increased opposition fears of a crackdown on dissent.

Bassem Youssef rose to fame after the uprising that swept Hosni Mubarak from power in 2011, with a satirical online show. His program, that has been compared to the Daily Show of US satirist Jon Stewart, is now broadcast on Egyptian TV.

The comedian is accused, among other things, of undermining the standing of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. The prosecutor general issued an arrest warrant for him on Saturday after at least four legal complaints filed by Morsi supporters.

An official in the prosecutor general's office confirmed that questioning had begun. Youssef voluntarily showed up at the prosecutor general's office on Sunday, so as to avoid arrest.

He was wearing an oversized version of a graduation hat modeled on one donned by the president when he was awarded an honorary degree in Pakistan earlier in March.

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