'Egypt's Jon Stewart' Says Interogators Were 'Nice'

Brent Lang
The WrapApril 1, 2013

Bassem Youssef, whose pointed jabs at the Muslim Brotherhood, led him into hot water with authorities this weekend, doesn't hold a grudge against his interrogators.

"The people were very nice," Youssef told CBSNews.com. "They were quite fair."

Youssef, a heart surgeon turned satirist, who has been nicknamed "Egypt's Jon Stewart" for his televised send ups of his country's leaders, was questioned for hours last weekend for insulting President Mohamed Morsi. He was released after posting $2,200 in bail on Sunday, according to the New York Times. Though he had kind things to say about his questioners, he made it clear that he was not thrilled with the authoritarian laws that had put him at risk of jail time. He told CBSNews.com that the harsh treatment were a symbol that the Arab Spring had not done enough to democratize the region.

"If we made a whole revolution and we didn't change a law like this, then this is quite ridiculous," he said. "President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have not made any serious steps to actually improve liberties in the country."

Youssef appeared on "The Daily Show" last June, where he told Jon Stewart that lampooning a Draconian government has its risks, as well as its rewards.

"It's been quite a ride and what we do has actually broke ground...Now people say, 'wow,  he actually says what we want to say," Youssef said.

"We try to be funny," he added. "We fail most of the time."

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