Printed on: January 02, 2013

Prosecutors investigate Egyptian TV comedian


CAIRO (AP) -- Egyptian prosecutors launched an investigation on Tuesday against a popular television satirist for allegedly insulting the president in the latest case raised by Islamist lawyers against outspoken media personalities.

Lawyer Ramadan

Abdel-Hamid al-Oqsori charged that TV host Bassem Youssef insulted President Mohammed Morsi by putting the Islamist leader's image on a pillow and parodying his speeches.

The case against Youssef comes as opposition media and independent journalists are growing increasingly worried about press freedoms under a new constitution widely supported by Morsi and his Islamist allies.

Other cases have been brought against media personalities who have criticized the president. Some cases have ended with charges being dropped. Morsi's office says the president has nothing to do with legal procedures against media critics.

On Tuesday, the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, one of Egypt's most widely circulated newspapers, said Morsi's office filed a complaint accusing it of "circulating false news likely to disturb public peace and public security and affect the administration."