Dareen's story

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. 

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 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. 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 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 this link.

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.

In German

Short video in German about Dareen Tatour’s case

Dareen Tatour Legal Aid