Despite facing legal questioning, Egypt’s top satirist is not letting up.
Bassem Youssef poked fun yet again at Egyptian president Mohammed Mursi on the Friday night episode of his political satire program.
He’s was at it again, chewing over his time spent being interrogated at the prosecutor’s office earlier this week, when he faced charges of insulting Mursi and Islam. He is currently out on $2,200 bail after the interrogation on Sunday that lasted nearly five hours.
“I would love to know how you make your decisions,” Youssef said of Mursi, comparing him to a magician drawing his ideas out of a hat.
He also ridiculed the pro-Mursi media and the prosecutor involved in the case against him.
“It’s not fear... but after my visit to the prosecutor, I decided not to talk any more about Mursi. So I’m going to talk about the prosecutor, especially his problems!” he joked.
The television audience, which included one of Egypt’s most prominent opposition figures, Hamdeen Sabahi, erupted in applause and laughter.
Then Youssef spent a good part of his show ridiculing both the attorney general and the president.
Youssef regularly skewers the country’s ruling Islamists on his wildly popular weekly program, Albernameg (The Show), which is modeled on Jon Stewart’s U.S. satirical The Daily Show.
He was questioned on accusations of offending Islam through “making fun of the prayer ritual” and of insulting Mursi by “making fun of his international standing”.
He is also subject to a new investigation for “threatening public security.”
The charges against the Egyptian satirist have raised international concerns and Mursi himself on Wednesday stressed Egypt’s commitment to freedom of expression, insisting that citizens’ complaints, not his office, were behind the probe against Youssef.
However, the soaring number of legal complaints against journalists has cast doubt on Mursi’s commitment to freedom of expression -- a key demand of the popular uprising that toppled his predecessor Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Youssef’s high profile case prompted the United States to express “real concerns” about the direction being taken by the Egyptian government.