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A prominent Egyptian satirist has been accused by the authorities of undermining President Mohamed Mursi. Bassem Youssef turned himself in after the prosecutor-general issued his arrest warrant on Saturday. Youssef also faces charges of insulting Islam.
Supporters of the comedian turn out in force to vent their frustrations at his detention. They claim this is further proof of a crackdown on dissent and freedom of speech.
One Egyptian protestor told euronews: “Bassem Yousef has said what is right since the days of the rule of our former president and then later under the Military Council, and now with the Muslim Brotherhood. We support him because he represents the true media, he is honest in his work and speaks the truth, and our main demand is to bring down this unjust and corrupt regime.”
The comic’s TV show, which pokes fun at politicians, was popular, but his satirical jabs at Mursi also drew attention from the Muslim Brotherhood, the party to which the president belongs.
Euronews correspondent Mohammed Shaikhibrahim reports: “The threats of the Egyptian president to arrest those he called rioters and to prosecute journalists undermining the security and stability of the country have begun to be felt on the ground by bringing the first journalist to court. But the demonstrators consider this an infringement on freedom of the press, a freedom they have dared to dream of in Egypt since the revolution.”