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LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO COURT IN EGYPT AND KENYA

Satirist Bassem Youseff

Egypt had its spring and Kenya a new constitution and Bill of Rights: the former is now trying to lock up a comedian and here at home a well known blogger has been charged with causing ‘anxiety’ to a leading civil servant. You’ve got to laugh, haven’t you?

EGYPT’S PRESIDENT MURSI NO MERCY FOR SATIRIST

Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered the arrest of TV satirist Bassem Youssef for allegedly “making fun of… the international standing” of President Mohamed Mursi.

“Making fun of” – isn’t that comedians and satirists do, asks the Kenya Forum?

One of the suits filed against Youssef asked that legal measures be taken against him to ‘discourage others from following his example’.

On the day the warrant for his arrest was issued Youseff wrote on to his Twitter account: “I will head to the public prosecutor’s office tomorrow unless they send me a car today and help me save on transport”. So at least he didn’t lose his sense of humour.

Twitter accounts can be dangerous though…

KENYA: ANXIOUS TIMES FOR CIVIL SERVANTS

Blogger Robert Alai

Kenyan blogger Robert Alai appeared in court in Milimani on Monday accused of posting a twitter message that ‘caused anxiety’ to the Head of Public Service Francis Kimemia.

The Kenya Forum was not aware that causing ‘anxiety’ to a civil servant was a crime but apparently it is contrary to section 29 (b) of the Kenya Information and Communication  Act.

It seems that on Sunday, Alai had tweeted that Kimemia, together with high ranking IEBC officials and a High Court judge, had secretly met at a hotel in Karen. Shocking, isn’t it.

The Kenya Forum hopes that Bassem Youssef’s example will encourage others to poke fun at politicians (and civil servants), and whilst it is perhaps unsual for one website or blog (although the Kenya Forum is more of an online article site) to promote another we hope Forum readers will support Robert Alai and look at his blog via www.techmtaa.com.

President Kenyatta declared winner.

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