Egypt’s ‘Jon Stewart’ hands himself in to prosecutors for interrogation

Bassem Youssef
Egyptian satirist and television host Bassem Youssef is surrounded by his supporters upon his arrival at the public prosecutor's office in the high court in Cairo, on March 31, 2013. Youssef was questioned by prosecutors over alleged insults to the president and to religion, reigniting calls for freedom of expression in post-revolt Egypt. KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images

CAIRO, Egypt – A popular television satirist known as Egypt’s Jon Stewart has appeared before prosecutors after an arrest warrant was issued against him for allegedly insulting Islam and the country’s leader.

Several dozen supporters gathered outside the public prosecutor’s office Sunday as Bassem Youssef, the host of the weekly show “ElBernameg” or “The Program,” arrived a day after the warrant was first reported in the media.

Government opponents said the warrant against such a high profile figure, known for lampooning President Mohammed Morsi and the new Islamist political class, was an escalation in a campaign to intimidate critics. It followed warrants for five prominent anti-government activists accused of instigating violence.

Youssef tweeted a series of quips from the prosecutor’s office. “They asked me the colour of my eyes. Really,” one read.

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