Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour is appealing her conviction for “inciting violence” in the District Court of Nazareth in Israel, according to solidarity group Free Dareen Tatour.
Tatour, who is an Israeli citizen, was in July sentenced to five months in prison over three social media posts. She is alleged to have incited violence with a YouTube video of her poem Qawim ya sha’abi, qawimhum (Resist, my people, resist them) being read over images of Palestinians in conflict with Israeli troops, and is alleged to have supported Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad in two of her Facebook posts.
The poet was released from prison in September, having already served several months behind bars after her October 2015 arrest.
On 25 December 2018, Tatour had an appeal hearing at the District Court of Nazareth. Free Dareen Tatour said a ruling was not made, but “it seems that the judges would like to abolish the article of the conviction that is related to her poem ‘Resist’ – recognising that the poem can be read in different ways”.
The judges said if the case had been against the words of the poem alone, without the accompanying images, the result would have been different, according to Arab48 News.
— Yoav Haifawi (@FreeHaifa) December 25, 2018
The judges have not set a date for their decision.
Meanwhile, Tatour’s poem Qawim ya sha’abi, qawimhum (Resist, my people, resist them) continues to cause controversy, with Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev demanding the Finance Ministry refrain from funding an exhibition on freedom of expression that features the poem, Haaretz reported on 27 December 2018.
Regev’s letter to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said, according to Haaretz, “As is known to everyone, including the exhibition’s organisers, Tatour was declared a supporter of terrorism and was jailed. It is unseemly to make her and her poems a source of inspiration at an Israeli institution that is supported by state funds. It was shown that at least one of her poems has a dominant tone of supporting terror and a call for joining the ranks of the shahids [martyrs].”
The Barbarians exhibition opened on December 30 at the Mamuta Art and Media Center in Jerusalem. It was “conceived in the wake of the continual persecution of the Barbur Gallery and other art institutions and artists in Israel”, according to Mamuta.
Read more about Dareen Tatour’s case here.