The Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour from Reineh near Nazareth
was arrested in a pre-dawn police raid on her home on October 11, 2015. On
November 2, 2015, she was indicted by the Israeli authorities in the Nazareth
court of “incitement to violence” over a poem and two statuses on Facebook. She
spent three months in different Israeli prisons before being transferred to
house arrest. Two years later she is still under detention, pending the end of
her trial. As part of her “bail” conditions she is prevented from any access to
the internet and from publishing any of her works.
At the center of the indictment is a poem she wrote,
translated incorrectly by a police officer. The poem, “Resist
my people, Resist them”, speaks about the crimes of the occupation and
about Palestinian martyrs. The Israeli police and prosecution deny the right of
Palestinians even to speak about their suffering and victims and say that while
Tatour speaks about martyrs it could only mean encouraging terrorism.
The targeting of this young woman, and the incredible
assault the State of Israel is launching on her personal freedom, has become a
symbol for the Israeli authorities’ campaign against freedom of speech and
artistic expression, alarming many in Israel and all over the world. Repeated
unequivocal calls by the writers’ association PEN
international for her release were ignored. An international petition by Jewish Voice for Peace and
Adalah-NY drew support from many writers and intellectuals but was also ignored.
After the first 12 months of her arrest Advocate Gabi Lasky, a leading human
rights campaigner, took over her defense. For detailed information about the
case and links to many related articles you can consult the “trial” page in this site.
Also, see Free Dareen
Tatour on Facebook.
The verdict in the trial is approaching, but the legal
struggle is likely to continue through appeals to the district court. The legal
costs are way beyond her family’s means, so one of the reasons for establishing
this site is to help in fundraising. Dareen Tatour’s voice, and ours, must be
We appreciate your support.