Friday, September 27, 2013

Bassem Youssef wins the CPJ International Press Freedom Award 2013

Bassem Youssef is among for recipients awarded the Committee to protect journalists International Press Freedom Award for 2013 , the other three being Janet Hinostroza from Ecuador, Nedim ┼×ener from Turkey and Nguyen Van Hai from Vietnam.

CPJ describes Bassem Youssef like this:

On his program, Youssef has taken on political conservatives and liberals alike, in a quest to inform and shatter stereotypes. Following a long tradition of satire that blends comedy with hard news, Youssef uses sharp humor to report on and critique government failures to improve the economy, public services, and safety, and its efforts to suppress opinion--whether in the name of religion under Morsi or in the name of security under the current military-backed government. He also addresses controversial topics and the limitations of free speech in a weekly column for independent Egyptian daily Al-Shorouk.

In 2012, the Morsi-led government pursued criminal charges against Youssef for "insulting the president," "insulting Islam," and "reporting false news." In March 2013, an arrest warrant was issued. After voluntarily appearing before prosecutors, Youssef was briefly detained, released on bail, and later fined. The criminal case did nothing to blunt his sarcastic edge. "I will not tone down my criticism," Youssef told CPJ in June 2013, just days before Morsi was ousted. "Freedom of speech is not a gift, it's a birthright."

Bassem Youssef will recieve the award together with the other three on November 26 in New York.

Here is how it all began.

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