Egyptian pro-coup TV channel CBC’s decision to cancel the ironic show of the famous Egyptian sarcastic TV presenter Bassem Youssef has aroused a wave of angry responses among Egyptians.
Spokesman of the coup, president Ahmed al-Maslamani, said: “The presidential institution respects freedom of speech.” He said to a TV channel that the cancelling of shows by the channels themselves is an internal issue.
Dr Mohamed al-Baradei said: “It is courageous to defend it [freedom of speech], not repress it. If things are confined only to what we desire, it means that [freedom] remains a hollow slogan.”
In this regard, the Sixth of April movement announced that they would boycott CBC because it “challenged the freedom of speech and was doing its best to please the current authority and move closer to it.”
Former presidential candidate Ayman Nour tweeted: “As what I expected last week, Youssef’s show was cancelled. Actually, we live at the time of one voice. It is a big slap to the right to freedom of expression.”
Khalid Ali, another former presidential candidate, also tweeted: “Repression does not kill the idea, but it immortalises it.” He published a photo of Youssef on his profile.
Meanwhile, former parliamentarian, Mostafa Bakri who supports the coup wrote on Facebook: “Those such as Bassem Youssef do not know the limits of responsibility.”
Al-Istiqlal Party, of which most of its members are leftists, said: “The stance of CBC [to cancel Youssef’s show] proves that it stands next to the revolution, the nation, the police and the army in the face of terrorism and the enemies of the country.”
Prominent independent activist Ahmed Maher ironically tweeted: “They [coup authorities] do not bear criticism. This is the freedom of speech of the new military regime. Surely the spokesman of the army phones the owner of the channel.”
Maher added: “Repressing freedom at the current time is worse than it was at the time of Mubarak, the former Egyptian president deposed by the January 25 revolution. The situation is as if no revolution was carried out. Morsi could not do it.”