Source: The Nation
Yassin Mohamed has spent much of the last seven years in prison for the crime of protesting.
Yassin Mohamed will turn 23 in a few days. He will spend his birthday as he has spent much of the last seven years of his life in Egypt: in prison.
If you had seen Yassin as I have seen him, you probably wouldn’t guess that he’s been jailed, beaten, tortured, electroshocked. From the almost four years I lived in Cairo—both before and after the 2013 military coup—my memories of him revolve around the cheap and seedy cafes of downtown: cracked and canting chairs, antediluvian waiters in soiled slippers, the slack hoses of water pipes trailing around tables like very sickly cobras. Here, on any given night, real veterans of the revolution gathered and smoked and talked, along with graffiti artists, would-be actors, musicians, middle-class students slumming from the suburbs, and a few clumsy, walrus-like police informers.