Bassem Youssef recipient of 2013 Press Freedom Award
Bassem Youssef - YOUM7 (Archive)


CAIRO: Popular satirist and talk show host Bassem Youssef is one of four journalists to receive this year’s International Press Freedom Award, presented by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The award is intended to recognize journalists who “face imprisonment or other persecution for exposing realities” in their countries.

“At a time when information has become a global resource, these four journalists have defied censorship and persecution to bring us the news,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said in a press release. “We recognize their bravery, their commitment, and their refusal to be silenced.”

Youssef is noted for being the subject of a legal investigation over his satirical – and sometimes controversial – television program, Al Bernameg (‘The Program’). The show has as many as 40 million viewers.

In 2012, the Mohamed Morsi government filed charges against Youssef for “insulting the president,” “insulting Islam,” and “reporting false news.” He was arrested and briefly detained in March 2013, then released on bail and fined.

The other recipients of the award are Ecuador’s Janet, Turkey’s Nedim Şener, and Vietnam’s Nguyen Van Hai.

CPJ announced the names of the recipients in a press release Thursday. The winners will be honored at a dinner in New York City on November 26, 2013, hosted by CBS correspondent and CPJ member Laura Logan.

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