Today marks two years since Alaa's latest arrest. Two years without exercise, without books or newspapers (even state ones), without a radio, without any time outside his cell.

This, from the upcoming book of his works, is a reminder of what was going on in Sep 2019.

And yet, Alaa still manages to have a role in public discourse.

Firstly, he turned his interrogations by state prosecutors into public platforms in which he addressed - literally - the state, with a series of major, practical ideas for the multiple crises facing the country.
3/n This is my personal favourite moment from the Statements to the Prosecutor... "a human rights structural adjustment programme"

He's in an interrogation room HQ of state security prosecution making jokes . . . but it's also grimly real-world practical....
Throughout these sessions, the prosecutors do not interrogate Alaa.

So, Alaa decides to do their job for them and interrogate himself. He outlines his political beliefs, says he is ready to answer for any of them in court - or should be released. 4/n
The state, of course, remains silent - and after Feb 2020 these sessions end.

But still Alaa finds ways to engage with the world. He gets a piece out about the pandemic and, most recently, this really moving piece about Palestine. 5/n…
So we are in this brutal paradox:

The state demands silence and is determined to punish Alaa in perpetuity.

But between the force of his will and the power of his words, silence is impossible. Even when he's not writing, he's being read - he's speaking. 6/n
Finally, to close this thread, here are the first two paragraphs of @NaomiAKlein's brilliant forward to Alaa's book. 7/7

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