Critics say Egypt satirist defamed military
Egypt’s top prosecutor received complaints Saturday against popular television satirist Bassem Youssef, who is often compared to U.S. comedian Jon Stewart.
The Associated Press
CAIRO — Egypt’s top prosecutor received complaints Saturday against a popular television satirist less than 24 hours after he returned to air, highlighting the low tolerance this deeply divided country has for criticism of the military and its leaders.
Bassem Youssef, often compared to U.S. comedian Jon Stewart, mocked the new pro-military fervor gripping Egypt in his program that aired Friday night.
He also took jabs at the country’s powerful military chief, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, lionized in the Egyptian media as a hero after leading a July 3 coup that ousted the country’s elected Islamist president following massive protests.
By Saturday, at least four complaints had been filed with the country’s top prosecutor, accusing Youssef of defaming the military in his show, a judicial official said.
One of the complaints accused Youssef of using phrases that “undermine the honor and dignity of Egypt and its people” in a manner that would sow sedition and spread lies.
The official said no investigation into the complaints had started yet. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to journalists.
Such complaints, common under Egyptian law, are often shelved until prosecutors decide to start an investigation.