Alaa Abdel Fattah's letter from prison

Sultan al-Qassemi has translated Alaa's letter published in al-Shorouk today. An excerpt in which Alaa talks about his cellmates, ordinary people rounded up by the military:

As soon as they realized that I was from the "Youth of the Revolution" they started cursing at the revolution and how it failed in "sorting out" the Interior Ministry. I spent the first two days only listening to stories of torture by the hands of the police that is not only adamant on resisting reform, but is seeking revenge for being defeated by the downtrodden, the guilty and the innocent.

From their stories I discover the truth of the great achievements of the restoration of security. Two of my colleagues are seeing jail for the first time, simple youth without a grain of violence and their accusation is? Forming a gang. Indeed, Abu Malik alone is an armed gang unto himself. Now I understand what the Interior Ministry means when it reports that it has caught armed gangs. I congratulate us for the restoration of security then.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.