Labour activist and lawyer Mahienour El-Massry said in her second letter from imprisonment, released Tuesday by her lawyer, that she refuses any kind of amnesty.
“The regime is the one who should ask for amnesty from the people,” read the letter. “I refuse to leave my confinement until the Protest Law is abolished.”
El-Massry wrote of her sadness that the memory of activist Khalid Saeed, killed by security personnel in 2010, “went forgotten”. She felt this was particularly so as new President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, whom she described as “[former president] Hosni Mubarak’s man”, was sworn in.
In her letter, El-Massry criticised Al-Sisi’s promise to take back the “martyrs’ rights”, pointing to the “innocent thousands who are behind bars”.
The Alexandrian lawyer said she does not fear imprisonment, adding that instead “we will continue even if I received another sentence in El-Raml police station case. We will not stop until we gain the rights of the martyrs.”
Thirteen lawyers and activists including Mahienour El-Massry were controversially assaulted and arrested by security forces in March 2013, accused of breaking into El-Raml police station in Alexandria. The case saw Sameh Ashour, head of the Lawyers’ Syndicate, demand the removal and prosecution of the interior minister, the Alexandria security director, the head of detectives and the deputy police chief.
Ashour at the time decided that no police personnel would be allowed inside any of the branches of the Lawyers’ Syndicate.
El-Massry concluded her letter by saying her “sacrifice is nothing compared to the suffering of the poor”, referring to the “injustice” witnessed inside of her prison ward. She mentioned in her first letter, released earlier this week, that she was detained in the ward of prisoners convicted with crimes related to misuse of public funds.
“My fellow inmates are not corrupt businessmen as we mostly think, but poor Egyptian women who could not pay off their debts,” she said.
In her first letter, El-Massry had called on revolutionaries to focus on finding solutions for the poor. These would run in parallel with their political demands of liberty and the abolishment of the Protest Law.