Current Weather
The Spy FM

‘Egypt’s Jon Stewart’ Questioned For Five Hours

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
March 31, 2013

After nearly five hours of questioning, the satirist known as the “Egyptian Jon Stewart” was released on bail Sunday.

Bassem Youssef is charged with insulting Islam and President Mohammed Morsi. He’s among the most prominent critics of Egypt’s Islamist president to be called in for questioning recently, prompting concerns that the president is cracking down on his detractors and members of the opposition.

Youssef is a doctor-turned-celebrity who came by his star status by lampooning public figures and the media. Politicians of all stripes are regularly skewered on his weekly TV show, “ElBernameg,” or “The Program,” and that’s made him both popular and not, as the AP reports:

“The fast-paced show has attracted a wide viewership, while at the same time earning itself its fair share of detractors. Youssef has been a frequent target of lawsuits, most of them brought by Islamist lawyers who have accused him of ‘corrupting morals’ or violating ‘religious principles.’”

Youssef’s bail is reportedly set at around $2,200, pending the completion of an investigation, the AP says. He’s not the only political activist to be targeted this week; the BBC reports five others have been ordered arrested on “inciting aggression” against the Muslim Brotherhood — the group that propelled Morsi to the presidency.

These latest arrest warrants add to fears for free speech in the transitioning country. The BBC reports:

“Many journalists have criticised the Islamist-backed constitution which came into force earlier this year, arguing it does not offer enough guarantees for a free media.”

The satirist took his investigation in stride, arriving at the prosecutor general’s office wearing a giant hat that lampooned one worn by Morsi earlier this month when the president accepted an honorary degree in Pakistan, as Reuter’s notes.

Youssef’s also been reporting on his own case, NPR’s Leila Fadel told our Newscast desk:

“On Twitter he confirmed that he was summoned and would turn himself into the prosecution for questioning on Sunday. He joked that if the police came to get him, it would save him transportation expenses.”

If you’d like a better idea of Youssef’s comedy stylings but don’t speak Egyptian, check out his appearance on The Daily Show with (the actual) Jon Stewart back in June. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

9PM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

View the program guide!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center