Egypt pulls satirist who poked fun at army chief off airwaves

Fri Nov 1, 2013 5:27pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Yasmine Saleh

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's top TV satirist was pulled off the air on Friday, a week after he poked fun at the army chief who ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July.

The move is likely to raise further questions about authorities' commitment to freedom in a country stumbling in its political transition since autocrat Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising in 2011.

Just before satirist Bassem Youssef's show The Program was due to start, an anchor from the CBC channel said the last episode had caused discontent on the street and violated editorial policy.

He said the channel had decided to suspend the show until editorial and commercial disputes with Youssef were resolved.

Youssef, known for his fierce jabs at Mursi, returned to his show last Friday following a summer break, poking equal fun at Sisi.

Referring to the ruler of the country, Youssef later displayed a projected image of Sisi before quickly swapping it with the image of the interim president, Adly Mansour.

He made extensive fun of the adulation of Sisi's admirers

"Sisi has turned into ... chocolate!" said Youssef, joking about the chocolate bars that have been molded into the defense minister's likeness in confectionary stores.   Continued...

Egyptians watch the first episode of a show by Egypt's most prominent television satirist, Bassem Youssef, called "Al-Bernameg" (The Programme) in Cairo October 25, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany