Joint press release from Jewish Voice for Peace and Adalah-NY
August 4, 2016 – After three months in Israeli prisons and more than six months under house arrest in an apartment near Tel Aviv, last week an Israeli judge ruled to allow Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour to continue her house arrest in her family home near Nazareth. Tatour’s appeal to move her house arrest from an apartment that her family was forced to rent outside Tel Aviv was granted shortly after over 250 literary figures, including 10 Pulitzer Prize-winners, called for her freedom in a letter stating that “that poetry is not a crime.” Tatour finally returned to her family home on July 26th, and is still under house arrest.
Despite this immediate victory, Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, still faces a maximum possible sentence of eight years in prison if convicted on all charges. Her trial will resume on September 6th. Tatour was arrested at her home in October 2015 by Israeli police. She was charged with incitement to violence primarily over a poem she posted online, “Resist, My People, Resist Them,” and two Facebook posts. The conditions of her ongoing house arrest require her to wear an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet, forbid her to use the internet, and only allow her to leave her home three days a week, for two hours each day.
Dareen Tatour explained, “The accusations against me are an attempt to criminalize any expression of legitimate Palestinian political resistance to Israel's occupation. The poem at the center of the indictment speaks about the killing of innocent Palestinians by settlers and by occupation soldiers. Once again Israel not only kills Palestinians, but at the same time won’t even let Palestinians speak of their experience of victimhood."