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Palestinian Poet Dareen Tatour Sentenced to 5 Months in Israeli Jail: Take Action for Freedom

World  (tags: freedom and justice, poet Dareen Tatour, world media, sentencing, imprisonment, racism, apartheid state, Palestinian citizens of Israel, discrimination, resistance, freedoms, free speech, freedom of expression, israel impunity, Palestinian prisoners of conscience )

- 230 days ago -
Tatour, 36, already spent three months in prison before spending the next two and a half years under house arrest. Tatours treatment as a Palestinian citizen of Israel has clearly underlined the racist, discriminatory and apartheid conditions


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fly bird (26)
Friday August 3, 2018, 11:16 pm
Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was sentenced to five months in Israeli prison on 31 July 2018, the culmination of a nearly three-year saga of imprisonment and house arrest following the publication of a video featuring her poem, “Resist, my people, resist them,” in October 2015. Tatour, 36, already spent three months in prison before spending the next two and a half years under house arrest. Tatour’s treatment as a Palestinian citizen of Israel has clearly underlined the racist, discriminatory and apartheid conditions for Palestinians in ’48 Palestine as well as exposing the reality behind Israel’s claims to democracy and academic freedom.

Tatour will report to Israeli prison on 8 August, where she will serve two months in prison, the remaining period of her sentence. She was convicted of incitement several months ago in a Nazareth court for her poetry and writing on social media. A number of political leaders of the Palestinian movement in occupied Palestine ’48 attended the hearing, and writers around the world have expressed their support for Tatour. PEN International identified the case as one targeting freedom of expression.

“After reviewing the charge sheet and the evidence against her, PEN has concluded that Dareen Tatour has been targeted for her poetry and activism and is calling for her immediate and unconditional release.” Jennifer Clement, president of PEN International, said that “Dareen Tatour is on trial because she wrote a poem. Dareen Tatour is critical of Israeli policies, but governments that declare themselves as democracies do not curb dissent. Words like those of Dareen Tatour have been used by other revolutionary poets, during the Vietnam war, during other liberation wars, and they can be found in the works of Sufiya Kamal of Bangladesh, of Ernesto Cardenal of Nicaragua, and so on.” Hundreds of internationally renowned writers and artists, including Edwidge Danticat, Ahdaf Soueif, Alice Walker, Eve Ensler, Ariel Dorfman, Russell Banks and Barbara Hammer, have called for Tatour’s release.

As Yoav Haifawi, one of the organizers of the campaign to free Dareen Tatour wrote in his detailed explanation of the case, “Tatour was mistakenly suspected and the entire investigation into her case began from this mistake. But her conviction is not a mistake. She was clearly identified as a proud Palestinian Arab who resists her oppression and the oppression of her people. For this she was convicted.”

Dareen Tatour is far from the first Palestinian poet – including a number of poets from ’48 Palestine – targeted by the Israeli occupation for arrest and imprisonment. The jailing and trial of Dareen Tatour is an echo of the arrests and imprisonment of Mahmoud Darwish, Samih al-Qasim, Tawfiq Zayyad and many others, not to mention the assassination of Ghassan Kanafani, Wael Zuaiter, Kamal Nasser and other Palestinian poets and writers. Today, there are dozens of Palestinian journalists in prison, including the writer Lama Khater of al-Khalil, just arrested last week and held under interrogation by Israeli occupation forces. Khater’s family said that she was told by Israeli soldiers that if she would stop writing, she would not be arrested.

In a lengthy, moving interview at Mondoweiss, Tatour spoke about her experiences with her fellow women prisoners. “Every prisoner that I met and knew has a story worth telling. Each carries an important human message. There are 45 Palestinian prisoners whom I have personally known and who have left me with unforgettable feelings and memories. I want to help make their voices heard…

After detention, I plan to dedicate myself to the women’s movement. I plan to establish a Palestinian women’s association that can connect with women’s rights groups around the world. In short, these last three years have made me love women more than ever and I hope to change with them.”

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network denounces the sentencing of Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour, the latest example of the violent, military repression of Palestinian arts, culture and literary expression. Tatour’s case exposes the reality of the Israeli regime for the Palestinian citizens in occupied Palestine ’48 – that is, an attack upon and a denial of their existence, identity and even creativity.

Whether facing the military courts that convict 99.74 percent of the Palestinians that come before them, the administrative detention hearings that send Palestinians to prison without charge or trial or the “civil” courts that criminalize poetry and impose extreme sentences on the children of Jerusalem, the entire Israeli system is based on the dispossession and denial of Palestinians and is fundamentally unjust and racist at its core.

Her case also highlights the role of Palestinian women in leading the liberation movement as well as creating art and culture. Throughout the history of the Palestinian liberation movement and resistance culture, women’s art and organizing has always been central – indeed critical – to the development of the anti-colonial struggle and the creative output that has accompanied it.

Freedom and justice for Dareen Tatour and all imprisoned and persecuted Palestinians!


1. Several organizers of the campaign to free Dareen Tatour have launched “Poem on Trial,” a campaign to highlight the case and support her ongoing legal challenges. The organizers are calling upon musicians, poets and other artists to create sound works that incorporate Tatour’s criminalized poem. “With your agreement we intend to curate a digital-only album of submissions, to be made available for sale on several platforms.All sale proceeds will be utilised to assist Dareen’s legal challenge to her conviction. Please submit your piece by 28/9/2018 via Wetransfer” Read more:

2. Escalate the cultural boycott of Israel. Palestinians have long called for the boycott of academic and cultural institutions in the Israeli state and for performers and artists to refrain from performing in Israel so long as it continues to violate Palestinian rights. This includes rejecting the sponsorship of cultural events and film festivals by Israeli embassies around the world. In response to the growing boycott movement, supporters of Israeli apartheid and representatives of the Israeli regime often make claims to “academic freedom” and “cultural exchange.” The imprisonment of poets like Dareen Tatour proves the falsehood of such claims and undermines the importance of cultural boycott. Find out more at and

fly bird (26)
Friday August 3, 2018, 11:17 pm
Palestinian student Ola Marshoud sentenced to 7 months in Israeli prison; female students receive arrest threats.

30 July 2018

Palestinian student Ola Marshoud, 21, from the Balata refugee camp in Nablus, was sentenced to seven months in Israeli prison by the Salem military court on Monday, 30 July, for her involvement in student activism on the An-Najah University campus. Marshoud has been detained since March, when she was summoned to interrogation at the military base near Huwwara. When she arrived, she was transferred the interrogation center at Petah Tikva.

She was accused in the military court of involvement in student organizing at An-Najah University. Active Palestinians involved in the student movement are repeatedly targeted for Israeli arrest, imprisonment and persecution, including Omar Kiswani, the student body president at Bir Zeit University. Statistics indicate that there are over 300 Palestinian university students imprisoned in Israeli jails.

Threatening notice against student activists in al-Khalil. Photo: Quds News

This policy of colonial military repression of student activism is continuing; in the pre-dawn hours of Monday, 30 July, a number of families in al-Khalil reported that armed occupation forces posted notices on the walls of the area, particularly the homes of female students, threatening them against participating in student elections and activism with the Islamic Bloc on their campuses. Several young women’s family homes were raided and letters presented to their parents by occupation soldiers accusing them of participating in “illegal activities” through student activism.

One such letter, directed at students’ parents from Israeli occupation intelligence, said: “If you get this message, it means that you are the parents of one of the activists of the Islamic bloc, which is an illegal activity. We alert you that any such involvement may lead to the arrest of your daughter, damaging her academic life and future, wasting your money and causing concern and indignation in the hearts of your family. We turn to you to follow up on the activities of your daughter and lead her away from such actions. You have been warned of the consequences.”

Past Member (0)
Saturday August 4, 2018, 1:09 am
I hope that he will be freed soon.

Tania N (883)
Saturday August 4, 2018, 2:39 am
Thank you for sharing

Tania N (883)
Saturday August 4, 2018, 2:40 am
Thank you for sharing

Colleen L (3)
Saturday August 4, 2018, 10:14 am
I also pray that he will be released. Thanks Fly

fly bird (26)
Sunday August 5, 2018, 12:34 am
Dareen Tatour joins eminent Palestinian writers persecuted by Israel.
1 August 2018

An Israeli court sentenced Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour to five months in prison on Tuesday over a handful of social media posts and a poem.

Tatour was convicted for “incitement to violence” and “support of terrorist organizations” on 3 May.

“I expected prison, and unfortunately there is prison,” Tatour told Al Jazeera following the sentencing.

“There is nothing surprising. This is an Israeli court and there is no justice in an Israeli court when the accused is Palestinian.”

“My trial was political right from the start,” Tatour added.

Tatour, 36, is from the Arab village of Reineh near Nazareth.

She was first arrested in October 2015 over social media posts and a poem called “Resist, My People, Resist Them.”

“Everything in prison is frightening”

Days before her sentencing, Tatour told the publication Mondoweiss that “Everything in prison is frightening and disturbing. I’m disgusted and don’t want to go back.”

Tatour said her experience has nonetheless strengthened her political commitment to liberation and to working towards “a state that includes everyone, based on the principles of justice and equality, without any concessions of our rights as Palestinian people living in the homeland in which we were born.”

“There is no one and no law that will be able to prevent me from writing about all aspects of humanity,” she added.

During her interview with Mondoweiss, Tatour revealed that she was a victim of sexual violence.

“I was sexually assaulted and raped,” she said. “The perpetrator contributed to my arrest, and the Israeli authorities completed the task, but both failed to silence my poetry.”

“At this point, I do not want to give more details. However, very soon everyone will have the chance to read the full story in my coming novel, entitled My Dangerous Poem.”

“Poetry is not a crime”

PEN International condemned the sentencing.

“The organization considers that Tatour has been targeted for peacefully exercising her right to free expression through poetry and activism,” the literary freedom group stated.

“We stand with Tatour’s own words: poetry is not a crime,” Jennifer Clement, president of PEN International, said.

Tatour already spent three months in prison during her trial and has since been under house arrest and barred from using the internet.

“As Tatour has already served three months in jail, she is reportedly due to serve only the remaining two months,” PEN International added.

Israel has a history of arresting, exiling and killing poets and writers who speak out against its crimes.

Israel assassinated numerous Palestinian writers, including Ghassan Kanafani, Majed Abu Sharar and Kamal Nasser, and exiled others, including Mahmoud Darwish.

More than 50 days of hunger strike

Meanwhile, an Israeli military judge froze the administrative detention of Palestinian prisoner Hassan Shokeh on Tuesday, after Shokeh’s health deteriorated sharply during his hunger strike of more than 50 days.

Shokeh, 30, was detained in September and went on hunger strike for more than 30 days shortly after, suffering signifiant harm to his health.

Shokeh suspended his initial strike when the Israeli military charged him, rather than holding him in administrative detention without charge or trial. His administrative detention had been set to expire on 3 June, but the military then placed him back in administrative detention and he has been refusing food since.

With his health in dire condition , the Israelis transferred Shokeh to the Kaplan Medical Center.

He reportedly suffers pain in his kidneys, eyes and head and vomits constantly. He’s lost a lot of weight, has lost mobility and is using a wheelchair.

Despite his condition, the Israeli jailers shackled Shokeh’s hands and legs to the hospital bed, according to the Palestinian Authority’s Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs.

Shokeh has spent more than a decade in Israeli prisons. Eight years were spent in administrative detention.

Another hunger striker, Muhammad al-Rimawi, has been refusing food for more than 10 days to protest his extended detention and interrogation at the Ashkelon interrogation center.

Al-Rimawi was arrested on 19 July near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israeli occupation forces detained his father Nimer al-Rimawi, 54, earlier this week to pressure Muhammad to end his strike, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club.

Targeting journalists and lawmakers

Israeli occupation forces arrested four journalists on Monday, Ala al-Rimawi, Muhammad Sami Alwan, Qutaiba Hamdan and Husni Anjas.

This is “an attempt by the occupation authorities to suppress journalism and freedom of the media, and to restrict journalists and intimidate them not to deliver the truth,” the Palestinian Authority’s commission for detainees stated.

Another Palestinian journalist, Lama Khater, was arrested from her home in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on 24 July.

She is undergoing harsh interrogations in Israeli custody. Her detention has been extended.

Meanwhile, in July, the Israeli military extended the detention of Palestinian Legislative Council member Khalida Jarrar by another four months.

There are currently 29 Palestinian journalists in Israeli occupation prisons, including seven held under administrative detention – without charge or trial – according to the Palestinian Authority commission.

Including Jarrar, there are six Palestinian lawmakers in Israeli prisons, three of them in administrative detention.

Targeting students

An Israeli military court sentenced Ola Marshoud , 21, to seven months in prison on Monday for her student activism at the An-Najah University.

Marshoud was arrested in March. She is from the Balata refugee camp in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

Meanwhile, Israeli military forces posted notices in Hebron, near homes of female students.

The notices warn students against participating in campus elections or activism in relation to a bloc aligned with the Hamas party which has repeatedly won closely watched student council elections at universities in the West Bank.

“We alert you that any such involvement may lead to the arrest of your daughter, damaging her academic life and future, wasting your money and causing concern and indignation in the hearts of your family,” one notice reads, according to prisoners solidarity group Samidoun.

Israel regularly harasses and detains Palestinian student activists, while hampering the educational work of their universities.

In March, Israelis disguised as journalists stormed Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank and beat and arrested Omar Kiswani, the head of the student council.

Kiswani is a member of the Islamist bloc.

The university said two students were injured by gunfire during the Israeli attack.

Palestinian students imprisoned by Israel often continue their studies while in jail, despite Israel placing obstacles in the way of their education.

Following her release this week, Palestinian high schooler Ahed Tamimi spoke of her struggle to continue her studies while she spent eight months in an Israeli prison.

Recently, three of Ahed’s fellow female prisoners passed their high school examinations behind bars.


fly bird (26)
Monday August 6, 2018, 6:54 pm
Ahed Tamimi Is Free, but 400 More Palestinian Children Remain in Military Jails.

David Palumbo-Liu, Truthout Published August 3, 2018

On July 29, 17-year-old Palestinian Ahed Tamimi was released from an Israeli prison. Her mother Nariman, who was present in February when Tamimi slapped an Israel Defense Force soldier in the face and who filmed the incident, was also released. Tamimi had been imprisoned since the February incident, for which she was charged with 12 offences, including assaulting security forces and incitement to violence. Tamimi and her mother are part of an activist family that has been attempting to show the world the nature of the Israeli occupation.

The incident, captured on videotape, immediately became a symbol not only of Palestinian resistance to the occupation, but also of the lengths the Israeli state will go to in order to safeguard its image and protect Israeli pride. This includes, but is not restricted to, letting hundreds of other Palestinian children languish in jail, many for minor crimes like throwing stones. (In a related story, Israel also arrested two Italian artists for painting a portrait of Tamimi on the separation wall.)

This cruelty and violation of international human rights doctrine is just one part of the systematic and longstanding nature of Israel’s illegal occupation.

Many Zionists declared that Tamimi’s sentence should be harsh, even permanent. This teenager only attacked one soldier, but the capture of the incident on film made it into a symbolic attack on the entire occupying force and occupation itself. Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev said, “When I watched that, I felt humiliated, I felt crushed.” She called the incident “damaging to the honor of the military and the state of Israel.” Similarly, an Israeli lawmaker from the Knesset, Bezalel Smotrich, declared: “In my opinion, she deserved a bullet, at the very least to the kneecap. That would put her under house arrest for the rest of her life.” But perhaps worst of all, consider this comment by journalist Ben Caspit: “In the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras.”

In fact, interrogators did come very close to sexually threatening Tamimi. Examining a video of the interrogation, The Associated Press notes, “The interrogator, identified as an agent of the Israeli military intelligence branch, at times moves within centimeters (inches) of the teenager, who doesn’t respond and repeatedly asserts her right to remain silent”:

The military intelligence agent, who sits in a chair close to her, attempts to get her to speak, at times threatening her, then telling her that with her blond hair, blue eyes and fair skin she reminds him of his younger sister…. At another time, he tells her she has the “eyes of an angel.”

While we might recoil at this interrogation, it is not at all uncommon. Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories are not tried in civil courts. Their cases go to military courts, which are frequently in violation of international human rights doctrine. Children can be kept in jail indefinitely, without legal representation and their parents prohibited from seeing them. Right now nearly approximately 350 Palestinian children are languishing in military prisons for minor crimes like throwing stones.

Brad Parker, an international advocacy officer and attorney for Defense for Children International–Palestine, told Truthout that Tamimi’s detention, prosecution, plea agreement and sentence is not exceptional in Israel’s military court system. Further, he says, the ill treatment of Palestinian child detainees by Israeli forces is widespread and systematic, with three out of four Palestinian children experiencing physical violence following their arrest. Moreover, Israeli military law provides no right to an attorney during interrogation.

“Palestinian children like Ahed often typically arrive to interrogation rooms bound, blindfolded, frightened and sleep deprived. Children often give confessions after verbal abuse, threats, physical and psychological violence that in some cases amounts to torture,” Parker said. “It is clear that detaining and prosecuting Palestinian children in Israeli military courts has little to do with justice.”

In 2016 the United Nations issued a damning report on the treatment of Palestinian youth, expressing its concern

“at allegations of many instances in which Palestinian minors were exposed to torture or ill-treatment, including to obtain confessions; were given confessions to sign in Hebrew, a language they do not understand; and were interrogated in the absence of a lawyer or a family member. The Committee is also concerned that many of these children, like many other Palestinians, are deprived of liberty in facilities located in Israel, thus hindering access to visits of relatives who live in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The Committee is further concerned that at the time of the dialogue there were 12 minors in administrative detention and 207 Palestinian minors residents of the West Bank in detention for security-related offences.”

In December 2017, Defense for Children International-Palestine published a report noting the “spike” in violations against Palestinian children following the announcement that Trump would move the US embassy to Jerusalem. That Israel has been emboldened by the current political situation might help explain the passage of the “Jewish Nation-State Law.” This is a simple and blunt instrument that has one and only one purpose—to declare Israel a Jewish state and relegate all non-Jews to the level of second-class citizens. It “views the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.” This, of course, refers to the continued building of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories and the appropriation and destruction of Palestinian homes.

Israel has thus thrown down the gauntlet to the international community, asking bluntly: What are you going to do about it? Though Ahed and Nariman Tamimi have been released, the cruel logic of the occupation remains very much in place. If we do not wish these kinds of acts to continue, we must do something about it—again, this is something the Tamimis have tried to get us to do.

One thing to do is support Rep. Betty McCollum’s efforts to prevent US tax dollars from supporting these cruel human rights abuses. In a December article in The Nation, McCollum wrote, “Israeli soldiers and security officials kick, punch, and beat children. They utilize sensory-deprivation techniques. Their ultimate goal is to get signed confessions—usually in Hebrew, a language the children cannot read or understand.” People who protest the Trump administration’s separation of immigrant children from their families have no legitimate reason not to be appalled by this and protest.

Another thing people can do is to support the “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” movement, called for by Palestinian civil society. This nonviolent, human rights-based effort pushes for the legitimate and internationally recognized rights of the Palestinian people to be recognized, and for the structures of apartheid ethno-nationalism in Israel-Palestine to be dismantled. As more people join this mass international movement, the Israeli government will continue to fall under increasing pressure to end its abuses against Palestinian children.
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