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Bassem Youssef and the Fate Of Independent Media in Egypt

Bassem Sabry discusses the investigation of popular Egyptian political satirist Bassem Youssef as well as the fate of Egypt's independent media.
Bassem Youssef (C), the country's best-known satirist, gestures to journalists and activists as he arrives at the high court to appear at the prosecutor's office in Cairo March 31, 2013. Egypt's prosecutor-general on Saturday ordered the arrest of Youssef for making fun of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW SOCIETY) - RTXY3QR

For 15,000 Egyptian pounds, a bit over $2,200, famous Egyptian political satirist and “Egypt’s Jon Stewart” Bassem Youssef has been released on bail. He faces charges of insulting the president, contempt for Islam, publishing false news and reportedly also a fourth charge that has not yet become public.

A throng of his fans had passionately greeted him upon his arrival at the prosecutor’s office. One even had an oversized version of Morsi’s now-famous Pakistani doctorate hat similar to one that Bassem had featured recently on his show. Youssef, laughing, donned this one in the street for a moment before heading in to comply with the investigation. While there, he appeared to keep his cool, reportedly even posting a few lighthearted tweets during the proceedings, and he seemed even more defiant in his subsequent interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour. But later, Youssef tweeted in an uncharacteristically sombre tone: “It seems they want to drain us physically, emotionally and financially.”

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