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Bassem Youssef — Egypt's Jon Stewart — says his show's been pulled off the air

This raises new questions about freedom of expression in Egypt, the most populous Arab state.

Bassem youssef april 23 2014Enlarge
Comedians Bassem Youssef and Amy Poehler take a selfie at the TIME'S 100 Most Influential People in the World reception at the Lincoln Center on April 23, 2013 in New York City. (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Egypt's top TV satirist said on Monday his show had been canceled, in a move likely to raise speculation he was pulled off the air because his latest script poked fun at a presidential election won by the former army chief.

Bassem Youssef, known as the "Egyptian Jon Stewart," told a news conference the Saudi-owned MBC Masr TV station had been put under more pressure "than it could handle."

Last week's presidential election was won easily by former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the man who toppled Egypt's first freely-elected leader last year.

Youssef's associates told Reuters his latest show, never broadcast, had made fun of the low turnout in the presidential vote, the pro-Sisi media frenzy and women supporters dancing at polling stations.

The comic rose to fame with a satirical online show after the revolt that swept autocrat Hosni Mubarak from power in 2011. His program, later broadcast on television, has been compared to the US satirical comedy "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

Youssef was pulled off the air last year while working for Egypt's CBC channel after he mocked Sisi.

Youssef's predicament will raise new questions about freedom of expression in Egypt, the most populous Arab state.

"We will all miss this theater that we built from scratch," he said at the news conference, asking his crew to come on stage for a final gathering.

"We hope to live the day when we can do the show the way we want it, with no pressures."

(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Andrew Roche)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/140602/egyptian-comedian-bassem-youssef-says-his-shows-been