Morsi critic Bassem Youssef, known as Egypt's Jon Stewart, is interrogated


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



Satirist Bassem Youssef, a vocal critic of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi, was interrogated for five hours on Sunday before being released on bail, reported the Associated Press

He tweeted after leaving the prosecutor's office: "They asked me the color of my eyes. Really," said AP, later adding: 

Youssef's arrest warrant was one of five issued for leading critics of the Muslim Brotherhood-led administration on grounds of promoting anti-government violence, said AP

The comic was accused of insulting Islam and criticizing the president, according to Reuters, saying he was let go on Sunday after paying the equivalent of $2,197 in bail. 

The move comes amid a fresh government crackdown on dissent, activists say, with authorities on alert as public outrage rises over higher food prices and fuel shortages. 

Youssef made his name after the ousting of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in 2011 by launching a show similar in tone and style to Jon Stewart's Daily Show, said Reuters.

Sunday's interrogation was a response to several complaints by Morsi supporters, said AP

"The prosecution is the protector of social rights and we work on implementing the law," Deputy chief prosecutor Hassan Yassin told AP, later adding: "There must be guidelines for those working in the media to observe so as not violate the law."

Others see it as a violation of a higher law. 

"It is an escalation in an attempt to restrict space for critical expression," Human Rights Watch's Egypt director, Heba Morayef, told Reuters.