CAIRO: Egypt’s state prosecutor ordered Monday a probe into a complaint against TV satirist Bassem Youssef after his show mocked both the military chief and the formerly ruling Islamists, a judicial source said.
Youssef, known as “Egypt’s Jon Stewart” for modeling his show after the American comedian, debuted a new season Friday in his first episode since the military overthrew Islamist President Mohammad Morsi in July.
State prosecutor Hisham Barakat ordered the investigation into one of several complaints against Youssef, which accuses him of inciting chaos and harming public security, the source said.
The complaint also accuses Youssef of insulting the armed forces.
The satirist had poked fun at leaked comments by military chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, in which the colonel general discussed developing “arms” in the media to improve coverage of the military.
Youssef was a leading voice of dissent during Morsi’s year in power, and his regular jibes at the president resulted in an investigation that was eventually dropped.
He had initially backed the move to overthrow Morsi after millions took to the streets demanding the Islamist’s resignation.
But he has since expressed concern over the violent and extensive crackdown on Morsi’s supporters, while also criticizing the Islamists’ attacks on churches following the coup.
The ex-heart surgeon Friday also turned his attention to the country’s military-installed interim government, and the groundswell of adoring support for Sisi, whose portrait has become ubiquitous in posters across the country.