Israel: Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour released from prison

20 September 2018

On 20 September, Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was released from prison after serving several years in detention and house arrest over one of her poems posted as a video on YouTube.

“I am very happy to have freedom at least after three years in prison, remand, house arrest with an electronic cuff and again house arrest. At last I’m free, and I will continue writing. I will not stop. Of course I won’t. The whole case was about a poem,” she told Haaretz.

Freemuse is pleased to learn of Tatour’s release, but remains concerned over the treatment of artists in Israel when they creatively express their opinions that rub authorities the wrong way.

According to solidarity group Free Dareen Tatour, the poet was released on “administrative release” approximately two months early due to prison overcrowding.

On 31 July 2018, Tatour, who is an Israeli citizen, was sentenced to five months in Israeli prison on the charge of inciting terrorism and supporting Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad who are considered a terrorist group by the Israeli government. She received her sentence after serving nearly three years under house arrest in connection with three social media posts, one of which included a reading of one of her poems, that authorities allege constituted “incitement to terrorism”.

Initially detained in October 2015, the poet spent several months in prison before being placed under house arrest in January 2016. From there she was confined to a flat in Tel Aviv where she was prohibited from publishing her work and accessing the internet.

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