Den egyptiske satiriker Bassem Youssef drev gjøn med president Mohamed Morsi. Det skulle han ikke gjort. Nå anklages han for å ha undergravet presidentens stilling, og blir satt under etterforskning. Det opplyser påtalekilder i Kairo.
Det er akkurat det skrekkscenario som kritikere av islamistforfatningen så for seg. Blekket var knapt tørt før riksadvokaten varslet etterforskning av de tre opposisjonslederne, ElBaradei, Mousa og Sabahi.
Morsi viser akkurat samme tendens som statsministeren i Tyrkia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, som heller ikke tåler kritikk eller satire. Da er det på med juridiske tommeskruer med en gang. Ytringsfriheten i Egypt går trange tider i møte.
Bassem Youssef’s case will increase worries about freedom of speech in the post-Hosni Mubarak era, especially when the country’s new constitution includes provisions criticised by rights activists for, among other things, forbidding insults.
Mr Youssef rose to fame following the uprising that swept Mubarak from power in February 2011 with a satirical online programme that was compared with Jon Stewart’s Daily Show.
He has since had his own show on Egyptian television and mocked Mr Morsi’s repeated use of the word «love» in his speeches by starting one of his programmes with a love song, holding a red pillow with the president’s face printed on it.
The prosecutor general ordered an investigation into a formal complaint against Mr Youssef by an Islamist lawyer. The complaint accuses him of «insulting» Mr Morsi, an Islamist backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, and «undermining his standing».
Human rights activists say it is the latest in a series of criminal defamation cases that bode ill for free speech as Egypt reshapes its institutions after Mubarak was toppled.
Egyptian satirist accused of undermining Mohammed Morsi
An Egyptian satirist who made fun of President Mohammed Morsi on television has been accused of undermining his standing and will be investigated by prosecutors, according to a judicial source.