Egypt: fans protest after TV show suspended for criticising the military

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Egypt: fans protest after TV show suspended for criticising the military

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Fans of a popular Egyptian satirist whose TV show was cancelled after he poked fun at the military have been staging a protest.

They gathered outside the theatre where “El-Bernameg” or “The Programme” is recorded in central Cairo demanding it be put back on air.

TV Channel CBC pulled the show saying the latest episode had caused “discontent on the street” and “violated editorial policy.”

Bassem Youssef had mocked the adulation given to army chief General Sisi by his admirers and joked about chocolate bars made in Sisi’s image.

Fan Islam Khalid said: “We are here today to reject what happened to the media satirist and the revolution’s satirist, Bassem Youssef, and to say that freedom for the media is amongst the most important demands of the revolution. We reject any suppression of anyone in the Egyptian media from any group.”

Another fan, Ahmed Hassan, added:“My opinion is that what happened is shameful for the Egyptian media, for both the private and public sector. It brings shame upon us as revolutionaries to accept this because he was here during the time of the Muslim Brotherhood, criticizing them.”

Yousseff has managed to offend all political sides in Egypt. In March he was arrested and released on bail after allegations he insulted Islam and the then-President Mohammed Morsi.

The move to suspend the comedy programme will increase concerns about freedom of speech under the military rule.