The Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour, an Israeli citizen, who is accused of “dangerous incitement”, has been incarcerated for over 18 months now. The flimsy evidence is a poem she wrote, translated incorrectly by a police officer, and a Facebook post quoting another Facebook post.
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. An unequivocal call by the International writers association PEN for her release last September was ignored. More International petition by Jewish Voice For Peace Ignored,
After the first 12 months of her arrest (three months in different prisons, then draconian house arrest with no access to internet communications) the law firm of Advocate Gabi Lasky, a leading human rights campaigner, agreed to take over her defense. For more information about the case please read professor Kim Jensen’s recent article The trial continues: Dareen Tatour and the crime of posting while Arab. Also, see Free Dareen Tatour on Facebook.
Dareen’s next hearings are scheduled for March 27, 2017. The legal costs are way beyond her family’s means. (They already paid for a year of unsuccessful litigation.) It is up to us, people alarmed and disgusted with the targeting and bullying of open-minded writers and political activists, to offer our support. We must start an efficient fundraising effort to block the silencing of Dareen. A long and costly legal battle is expected. Unfortunately, in view of the ridiculously manufactured accusations, we cannot foresee a logical end to this absurd trial in the magistrate court with a clear-cut and just acquittal for Dareen. Israeli judges are no heroes. The government and Israel’s fanatic Jewish nationalistic public opinion constantly bully them. However, we must see this battle through the higher courts. Dareen Tatour’s voice, and ours, must be heard. Our initial target for the fundraising is $25,000.
We appreciate your support.