Egyptian satirist out on bail

Egyptian prosecutors questioned the country’s most prominent television satirist on Sunday over allegations he insulted the president and Islam, a case that has increased opposition fears of a crackdown on dissent.

Bassem Youssef turned himself in after the prosecutor general issued an arrest warrant for him on Saturday. He was released on bail of 15,000 Egyptian pounds ($2,200), an official in the prosecutor's office said.

Youssef rose to fame after the uprising that swept Hosni Mubarak from power in 2011, with a satirical online show. His program, that has been compared to the Daily Show of US satirist Jon Stewart, is now broadcast on Egyptian TV.

The comedian is accused, among other things, of undermining the standing of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. The prosecutor general issued the arrest warrant after at least four legal complaints filed by Morsi supporters.

Arriving at the prosecutor general’s office, Youssef was wearing an oversized version of a graduation hat modeled on one donned by the president when he was awarded an honorary degree in Pakistan earlier in March. Youssef has worn the hat on his widely-watched show, one of many satirical jabs at the president. Last year, he poked fun of Morsi’s repeated use of the word “love” by singing a love song to a red pillow with the president’s face printed on it.

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