Egyptian TV channel suspends controversial satirist`s show
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Last Updated: Saturday, November 02, 2013, 12:49
  
Cairo: Controversial Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef's television show has been suspended a week after he returned from a four-month break.

Youssef had already run afoul of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by the military in July. The private channel CBC that airs Youssef's show pulled the plug on the wildly-popular Al-Bernameg (The Programme) yesterday after finding its content in violation of station's "editorial policy".

"The channel has decided to suspend Al-Bernameg. The CBC board confirmed that today's episode indicated that the producers and presenter insisted on violating the editorial policy of the channel," the network said in a statement read out by a presenter.

It did not elaborate on how the editorial policy had been violated, but said the show would remain suspended "until the technical and commercial problems are solved".

In last week's episode, after an almost three-month hiatus and the first since Morsi's removal- Youssef did not spare the military, provoking fury from some spectators.

He mocked the media coverage of the overthrow, particularly exaggerated claims about the number of demonstrators who took to the streets on June 30 - to call for the Islamist government's resignation.

Following the announcement, El-Bernameg wrote on its Twitter account that it was currently uploading the banned episode on YouTube.

A day after the last episode was aired the channel had distanced itself from its contents.

"The CBC board rejects some of the contents of Al-Bernameg episode as it contains insults of some Egyptian nationalist figures," the channel had said referring to the October 25 episode.

The ex-heart surgeon even mocked the country's new military-installed interim government, in which Adly Mansour is president but Army Chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is widely seen as calling the shots.

Sisi is leading the popularity charts in Egypt since the ouster of Morsi, with the general's posters displayed across the country.

"The CBC board rejects some of the contents of Al-Bernameg episode as it contains insults of some Egyptian nationalist figures," the channel had said referring to the October 25 episode.

Critics of Youssef staged a protest outside the theatre where he was recording his program on Wednesday and scuffled with his supporters. Riot police broke up the crowd.

Tensions are running high in Egypt, with more than 1,000 people - mostly supporters of Morsi - having been killed in street clashes and militant attacks since the beginning of July.

PTI

First Published: Saturday, November 02, 2013, 12:49


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