Egypt’s recent arrest of a satirist, who is accused of mocking President Mohamed Morsi, has raised concerns over the citizens’ freedom of speech. The Egyptian authorities, however, reiterated their respect for the role of media on Tuesday.
Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsoud denied any obstacles to freedom of expression, adding that restrictions are only imposed on some media which adopted defamation and lies, according to official news agency.
On Saturday, Prosecutor-General Talaat Ibrahim Abdullah issued an arrest warrant for satirist Bassem Youssef over claims against his famous political comic show, called “The Program.”
Youssef was accused of mocking Islamist-oriented President Morsi, uttering blasphemous comments on Islam and spreading false news that could influence social peace.
Although Youssef was freed on bail on Sunday, the prosecution probed a new complaint against him on Tuesday.
“A new complaint against me has been referred to state prosecutor-general, for spreading rumors and false news and disturbing public tranquility after the last episode,” Youssef wrote on Twitter. “It seems they want to drain us physically, emotionally and financially.”