[Pnews] Dareen Tatour convicted for poetry: Take action to demand justice and freedom for Palestine

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu May 3 10:04:42 EDT 2018


  Dareen Tatour convicted for poetry: Take action to demand justice and
  freedom for Palestine

3 May 2018
/Dareen Tatour – photo Free Dareen Tatour campaign/

An Israeli court in Nazareth convicted 
Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour 
of “incitement” and “support for terror” for posting on Facebook and 
creating a poetry video on Thursday, 3 May. The conclusion of the trial 
– in an Israeli civil court – came after years of a lengthy trial and 
years of house arrest and confinement for the 36-year-old Palestinian 
poet. According to Yoav Haifawi, reporting from the court 
“The judge wrote that if Tatour mentioned Palestinian innocent victims 
in her poetry ‘any reasonable person can only understand this as 
incitement to violent revenge.'”

She was first arrested in October 2015 
after posting several Facebook statuses, including news information on 
the rising popular movement and intifada, a photo of Israa Abed 
and the words, “I am the next martyr,” and her poem, “Resist, my people, 
resist them.” (Abed is a Palestinian woman, also from ’48 Palestine, who 
was shot by Israeli police at a bus station; allegations against her 
were later dismissed.) She is one of hundreds of Palestinians 
– mostly from the West Bank and Jerusalem, but also from Palestine ’48 – 
arrested and imprisoned for posting their political positions and, in 
this case, their art, on Facebook and other social media.

/Dareen Tatour in court, 3 May. Photo: Yoav Haifawi/

Of couse, 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.

Indeed, at times, the trial has been somewhat surreal, as the meaning of 
like “intifada” (uprising), “shahid” (martyr) and “qawem” (resistance) 
are debated in the courtroom between translators. Palestinian existence, 
expression and experience has become a subject for judicial debate about 
its inherent “violence.” The very act of a Palestinian writing poetry 
about her experience and the collective experience of her people is 
blatantly criminalized and labeled “terror” before the world.

After her arrest in October 2015, 
Tatour was jailed for three months before entering house arrest. Under 
the conditions of her house arrest, she has been barred from using the 
internet and communicating electronically. For months, she was 
restricted to an apartment in Tel Aviv and her brother and sister-in-law 
had to leave work to “guard” her before she was allowed to return to her 
home village of Reineh. She was monitored using an electronic ankle 
bracelet and was denied even visits to her family’s home for months.

Her case has drawn attention to the suppression of Palestinian literary 
and artistic voices. Hundreds of internationally renowned writers and 
artists <https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/dareen/>, including Edwidge 
Danticat, Ahdaf Soueif, Alice Walker, Eve Ensler, Ariel Dorfman, Russell 
Banks and Barbara Hammer, have called for Tatour’s release and the 
dropping of charges against her, a call endorsed by PEN 
the international freedom of expression association.

PEN Center USA joined with PEN International to issue a call to action 
<https://penusa.org/free-dareen-tatour> and petition in support of 
Tatour and demanding the dropping of all charges against her. “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.”

In an interview at Mondoweiss 
<http://mondoweiss.net/2018/05/documenting-interview-dareen/> the day 
before the verdict, Tatour discussed her involvement with the marches of 
return inside Occupied Palestine ’48, especially now as the Marches of 
Return in Gaza 
are facing brutal repression and building worldwide support.  She noted 
that she had been involved in creating documentary footage tracing 
Palestinian history and remembering the Nakba as well as organizing 
events at the marches. “As the annual March of Return events evolved 
<http://mondoweiss.net/2018/05/documenting-interview-dareen/> to draw 
tens of thousands participants, they now also include tents with special 
exhibitions. In the last marches before her arrest Tatour maintained her 
own tent, with an exhibition of more than 500 photos from the destroyed 
villages and towns, under the title’ tell me about my village.’ This was 
not a one time event–but an annual exhibition during the March of Return 
that ran for several years.”

/Dareen Tatour participates in a Return March prior to her arrest/

*Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network denounces the unjust 
conviction of Dareen Tatour for her poetry and literary expression. The 
arrest, trial and conviction of Dareen Tatour once again exposes the 
nature of the Israeli court system and its role as a fig leaf at best 
for a systematic attack on Palestinian rights and existence. 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.*

*The case also highlights the criminalization of Palestinian political 
expression as a shared experience of all Palestinians, including 
Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and occupied 
Palestine ’48, as well as Palestinians in exile and diaspora that face 
surveillance, visa denials, deportation and imprisonment for their own 
political expression – all too frequently labeled as “terror,” as in 
Tatour’s case. The targeting of Palestinian resistance includes the 
targeting of Palestinian creative and literary expressions of resistance 
– and so must its defense.*

*Freedom and justice for Dareen Tatour and all imprisoned and persecuted 


Dareen Tatour has been involved for almost two decades in documentation 
and mobilizing to remember the Nakba and demand the right of return of 
Palestinian refugees expelled from their homes and lands. Today, the 
Great Return March in Gaza and the mobilization of tens of thousands of 
Palestinian refugees – and the brutal murder of 45 and the wounding of 
thousands while participating in these marches to the colonial “border” 
once again highlights the core demand of the Palestinian struggle.

/*15 May marks the 70th anniversary of the Nakba as well as a major 
occasion in the ongoing Great Return March. Take action for Dareen 
Tatour by joining, participating and mobilizing for Nakba rallies and 
marches and support and solidarity events for the Great Return March. 

You can take action at these events to highlight Dareen’s case specifically:

*1. Read Dareen’s poem, “Resist, my people, Resist them.”* A translation 
was created for ArabLit.com by poet Tariq al-Haydar 
reproduced below. Stop the Israeli state from silencing and 
criminalizing Dareen’s poetry by reading it around the world over the 
microphone at Nakba rallies and Great Return March solidarity events.

*2. Create a “return tent” like Dareen’s at your local Nakba event or 
memorial.* Put up photos and images of destroyed Palestinian villages 
and accompany them with signs calling for the right of return for 
Palestinian refugees as well as a note honoring Dareen’s contribution to 
the struggle.

      *Dareen Tatour’s poem: “Resist, My People, Resist Them”*

*by Dareen Tatour (translated by Tariq al-Haydar 

Resist, my people, resist them.

In Jerusalem, I dressed my wounds and breathed my sorrows

And carried the soul in my palm

For an Arab Palestine.

I will not succumb to the “peaceful solution,”

Never lower my flags

Until I evict them from my land.

I cast them aside for a coming time.

Resist, my people, resist them.

Resist the settler’s robbery

And follow the caravan of martyrs.

Shred the disgraceful constitution

Which imposed degradation and humiliation

And deterred us from restoring justice.

They burned blameless children;

As for Hadil, they sniped her in public,

Killed her in broad daylight.

Resist, my people, resist them.

Resist the colonialist’s onslaught.

Pay no mind to his agents among us

Who chain us with the peaceful illusion.

Do not fear doubtful tongues;

The truth in your heart is stronger,

As long as you resist in a land

That has lived through raids and victory.

So Ali called from his grave:

Resist, my rebellious people.

Write me as prose on the agarwood;

My remains have you as a response.

Resist, my people, resist them.

Resist, my people, resist them.

/Free Dareen Tatour campaign poster/

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