Satirist questioned for insulting Mursi

Updated 02 April 2013
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Satirist questioned for insulting Mursi

CAIRO: Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef was released on bail yesterday after nearly five hours of questioning over alleged insults to the president and religion, highlighting concerns over freedom of expression in post-revolt Egypt.
Youssef, whose weekly program Albernameg (The Show) has pushed the boundaries of local television with its merciless critique of those in power, was ordered to pay 15,000 Egyptian pounds (around $ 2,200) pending investigation into the complaints, judicial sources told AFP.
On Twitter, Youssef confirmed the bail conditions, saying they were for three lawsuits. He said no date has yet been set for questioning into a fourth legal complaint.
Yesterday morning, Youssef continued to challenge the authorities even as he arrived at the prosecutor’s office. He made his way through a throng of cameras and supporters, to pose with an enormous version of a hat worn by President Muhammad earlier this month when he received an honorary doctorate from a university in Pakistan.
Youssef had worn the hat on his show a week earlier. The heart surgeon turned comedian took to Twitter during his questioning, at one point saying: “The officers and the prosecution lawyers want to have their photo taken with me. Maybe that’s the reason for my summons?”
The public prosecutor on Saturday issued an arrest warrant for Youssef, who has more than 1.2 million Twitter followers, following several legal complaints against him relating to the material used on the show. He is accused of offending Islam through “making fun of the prayer ritual” and of insulting Mursi by “making fun of his international standing.” Dubbed the Egyptian answer to American television’s Jon Stewart, Youssef has repeatedly poked fun at those in power and became a household name in the Arab world’s most populous country.
He now joins the ranks of several colleagues in the media who face charges of insulting the president.
Bassem 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 questioning of the comedian has raised fears over freedom expression in the post-Mubarak Egypt.
“It is an escalation in an attempt to restrict space for critical expression,” said Heba Morayef, Egypt director at Human Rights Watch.


Prince William visits Jerash, meets students during Jordan visit

Updated 25 June 2018
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Prince William visits Jerash, meets students during Jordan visit

  • Britain’s Prince William visited the Roman ruins of Jerash in northern Jordan, accompanied by his host Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah
  • The two princes met children from Jordan and neighboring war-torn Syria during their visit to the site

AMMAN: Britain’s Prince William ended a two-day tour of Jordan on Monday that included a visit to the archaeological Roman city of Jerash. The visit also included meetings with young Jordanian and Syrian students.
Ziad Guneimat, head of the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Archaeology in Jerash, told Arab News that the visit was very successful. “The prince toured the entire facility and expressed amazement at the location and its history,” he said.
Guneimat said that the British prince was accompanied by Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, who said that this was his first official visit to the important archaeological site since becoming crown prince and regent.
Prince William posed for a photo in the same location where his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, was photographed as a two-year-old when her father was director of the British Airways office in Amman. 


The Duke of Cambridge told a crowd of Jordanian and internationals at a reception that his wife, who had recently given birth, was sorry she could not make the trip to Jordan.
Osama Salameh, a spokesman for the Royal Court in Amman, told Arab News that Prince William and the Jordanian crown prince spoke with Jordanian and Syrian students on the sidelines of the visit to the archaeological site. 
A spokesperson for UNICEF said that Prince William met with younger Syrian refugees benefiting from UNICEF’s Makani program, which offers psychological support for Syrian refugee parents and children.

The British prince was unable to watch his country’s World Cup game live on Sunday, so the UK embassy recorded the game and he was seen watching the recorded version of Britain’s 6-1 victory over Panama along with Jordan’s crown prince.
At an event sponsored by the UK Embassy in Amman on Sunday to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday, Prince William read out a message in which the queen looked back warmly on her 1984 visit to Jordan and spoke of the country as “a staunch and long-held friend.” 
“The way in which you opened your doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, not to mention your longstanding commitments to Palestinian refugees, is remarkable,” the prince told Jordanians. The event was attended by Jordanians, members of the diplomatic corps as well as the newly sworn-in Prime Minister Omar Razzaz and members of his Cabinet. 
Prince William arrived in Israel on Monday for the first-ever official visit of a member of the British royal family to the tumultuous region London once ruled.
Arriving from neighboring Jordan, the Duke of Cambridge landed at Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport and then departed to Jerusalem, where he will stay at the elegant King David Hotel, site of the former administrative headquarters of the British mandate.
Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Prince William will be staying at the Hotel, which was the main administrative building of officials during the British Mandate from 1920-1948. The hotel was also the site of a terrorist attack by a Zionist underground organization in July 1946, which killed 91 people.