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Popular Egyptian satirist released after questioning

Bassem Youssef is a prominent critic of Egpyt’s president.

Bassem Youssef is a prominent critic of Egpyt’s president.

CAIRO — Egypt’s most popular television satirist, who every week skewers the Islamist president and hard-line clerics on his Jon Stewart-style show, was released on bail Sunday but could face charges of insulting the country’s leader and Islam.

Bassem Youssef is the most prominent critic of President Mohammed Morsi to be called in for questioning in recent weeks, in what the opposition says is a campaign to intimidate critics.

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Arrest warrants have been issued for five prominent antigovernment activists accused of instigating violence.

Deputy chief prosecutor Hassan Yassin denied the nearly five-hour interrogation was part of an intimidation campaign and said his department was enforcing the law and seeking to establish some guidelines on freedom of expression.

‘‘The prosecution is the protector of social rights and we work on implementing the law. . . . There must be guidelines for those working in the media to observe so as not to violate the law,’’ Yassin said.

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