World Bulletin / News Desk
A comedian who outraged Egypt's now deposed Muslim Brotherhood rulers with his satirical TV show is to be investigated by the current army-backed government, a state-run newspaper reported on Monday.
Bassem Youssef, often called Egypt's answer to U.S. satirist Jon Stewart, returned to the airwaves on Friday for the first time since the army ousted Mohamed Mursi, the ousted president he used to lampoon in jokes and song-and-dance routines.
Youssef turned his comic jibes on the new government, joking about the popularity of army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and implying that no one had heard of interim President Adly Mansour.
The programme was enough for public prosecutor Hisham Barakat to launch an investigation, after a viewer complained that it had harmed the public interest and risked creating chaos in the country, Al-Ahram newspaper reported.
Youssef, who was arrested under Mursi's government and appeared in court on charges - later dropped - of insulting the president and Islam, carefully poked fun at various political camps in Friday's broadcast, but stopped short of an outright assault on Sisi, whose image adorns posters across Cairo.
His arrest under Mursi was criticised by liberals who said the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak was going back toward autocratic rule.
With a new military-backed government in place, activists say similar assaults on press freedom and on other civil liberties like the right to protest, seem all too likely.
"I am not with the those who attacked us and called us heretics ... and publicly called for our imprisonment," Youssef said on his Friday show.
"At the same time, I am not with hypocrisy, deification of individuals and creation of pharaohs," Youssef said. "We are afraid that fascism in the name of religion gets replaced with fascism in the name of nationalism."
Mursi's ouster on July 3 was followed by the worst violence in Egypt's modern history, including the violent clearing of Muslim Brotherhood protest camps in which hundreds of the group's supporters were killed.
Thousands more, including the movement's leadership, have been arrested.
Defendants charged with involvement in two high-profile assassination attempts last year, judicial source says
Strikes 'were a result of continued coordination with Turkey', U.S.-led coalition says
At the Paris conference, some 70 countries affirmed their support for a two-state solution that would see a state of Palestine co-existing alongside Israel.
UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov delivered the warning to the Security Council, which met for the first time since the adoption of a contentious resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements.
Suspect is believed to have recruited suicide bombers for notorious extremist group
Iraqi officials slammed Bahrain’s execution on Sunday of three men convicted of killing policemen two years ago
116 ISIL targets also destroyed as part of Turkish-led Operation Euphrates Shield
3 others wounded in attack on security checkpoint, health ministry says
Army launched wide-ranging campaign last month aimed at recapturing parts of Yemen’s southern Shabwah province
Aid campaign run by Turkish Red Crescent draws large attention at home and abroad
OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing countries agreed to cap production from January 1 to end a global glut that has hammered prices, but doubts remain about implementation before data is released at the end of the month.
The government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had appealed against a lower court ruling in June that found the controversial border demarcation agreement was illegal.
Yemen's Saudi-backed government rejected earlier peace plan proposed by envoy
At least 180 ISIL targets also destroyed as part of Turkish-led Operation Euphrates Shield, Turkish military says
US, Jordan, Saudi Arabia declare support for Operation Euphrates Shield
A suspect hoax has forced an emergency landing in Kuwait by Eurowings