Bassem Youssef: Egypt prosecutors order arrest of political satirist


An Egyptian walks past posters of Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef outside a theater in Cairo on January 22, 2013.



An arrest warrant has been issued for Egyptian political satirist Bassem Youssef for allegedly insulting Islam and President Mohammed Morsi.

Youssef has been the target of several complaints over his show Al Bernameg (The Program, in English). He used it as a platform to poke fun at a wide range of people, including fellow TV hosts and well-known Muslim scholars.

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The political satirist confirmed on his official Twitter account that he received an arrest warrant and mockingly said he will head to the prosecution office Sunday "unless they [prosecution] send me a police car today and save me transportation trouble."

During Friday's episode of his show, Youssef mocked Morsi's speech on state television that he made after the attacks on the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters earlier this week. He replayed the original speech, but included his style of humor by adding special effects graphics of a magic stick, lightening stocks and sparks of fire at every hand gesture Morsi made during the address.

Complaints were filed by 12 citizens following the airing of the episode.

But this isn't Youssef's first run-in with the law. In January, a number of Islamist lawyers filed a lawsuit against the TV host, accusing him of "undermining the standing of the president" during another episode of his show. The charges were later dropped before the case reached court.