Saturday, March 15, 2014

Censorship in Egypt: Bassem Youssef's show jammed and singer stopped from performing

bassem youssef banned episode
Satellite TV channel MBC Misr experienced a disrupted signal from the beginning of the sixth episode of satirist Bassem Youssef’s show Al-Bernameg.Last week, the show was also interrupted, but only for a few minutes.
The Saudi-owned channel released a short statement saying they had faced “technical interference” during the airing of the show, and listed the new frequencies on which viewers inside and outside of Egypt could watch the episode. The words “deliberate interference” appeared on a ticker than ran along the bottom of the screen throughout the show on the alternative frequency. The episode was then shown again from the beginning. It is Youssef's third season of the show. It started February 7 on MBC Misr, after Egyptian satellite channel CBC canceld it in November.

There was a lot of comment on Twitter in Egypt Friday evening and people soon started to share a link on which the show could be watched immediately. Some social media users pointed at the fact that the same happend to Youssef  when he, during the presidency of Mohammed Morsi, suggested that he was a weak president if he felt threatened by a comedian.
Some poked fun at the futility of the move, as the show can be watched on YouTube anyway. It was found remarkable that the signal returned for the commercial breaks, but was cut again as soon as Youssef reappeared. One Twitter user suggested that it had to do with the fact that the commercials had already been paid for.
Saturday a similar incident took place during an arts festival, that was attented by the interim president and military chiefs among whom was marshal Sisi. A singer known for his critical stances was stopped him from performing out of  "security concerns." The singer, Mohammed Mohsen, said representatives from the presidency escorted him out of the Cairo Opera House before his performance was to begin and left him there as the concert went on without him.
Mohsen came to fame for singing during Egypt's 2011 revolt. He performed in Tahrir Square, the center of the protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak. Mohsen told The Associated Press he thought officials might "specifically targeted" him over his revolutionary songs or because he participated in the 2011 revolt. Mohsen recently represented Egypt as a singer in festivals in Italy and Lebanon. He is a member of the youth committee in a government cultural council.

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