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
Dareen held a long legal battle, in which she was represented by lawyer
Gaby Lasky, to prove that her poem and statuses constituted a legitimate
protest against the crimes of the Israeli occupation.
On May 3, 2018, judge Adi Bambiliya-Einstein in the Nazareth
Magistrates' Court convicted Dareen of all the charges. On July 31 Dareen was
sentenced to 5 months in prison and six months of suspended sentence.
On August 8, 2018, Dareen entered the Jelemeh detention center and was
sent to Damoun prison to serve the last 2 month of the 5 months prison sentence
(as she already spent 3 months in prison immediately after her arrest in
October 2015). On September 20 she was released from prison, after 2 weeks were
reduced from her imprisonment for “administrative release”.
Dareen appealed against her conviction, as a matter of principle and an important
precedent concerning the freedom of speech and artistic protest. Her appeal should be heard by the Israeli District Court in Nazareth on
November 29, 2018.
At the center of the indictment is a poem Dareen 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, prosecution and court 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
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. 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
The legal struggle continues now through appeals to the district court and probably the high court of
appeal. The legal costs are way beyond her family’s means, so one of the
reasons for establishing this site is to help in fundraising. Please contribute to Dareen’s legal defense through FundRazr following
You can also donate by buying a digital
album prepared by the cooperation of many artists in solidarity with Dareen
Tatour – with all the revenues going to Dareen’s legal defense fund.
Dareen Tatour’s voice, and ours, must be heard.
We appreciate your support.
Short video in German
about Dareen Tatour’s case