Free Dareen Tatour Site – Solidarity

Dareen site - solidarity - Yaffa Demo

Demonstration in solidarity with Poet Dareen Tatour – Clock Tower Square – Yaffa – June 25, 2016 

Fundraising for the legal expenses of Dareen’s appeal

Dareen’s supporters opened a fundraising page on FundRazr site to help cover the legal expenses of her appeal. Please donate.

Artists all over the world express their solidarity by works of art based on the poem “Resist” – digital album now ready for sale to support legal fund

Artists around the world initiated a call for solidarity with Dareen Tatour and established a special site to promote it under the title “Poem On Trial“.

Their creative works were collected and can now be heard on a new site, “dareentatour.bandcamp.com” as well as on the original “Poem On Trial Site“.

You can donate by buying a digital album prepared by the cooperation of many artists in solidarity with Dareen Tatour – with all the revenues going to Dareen’s legal defense fund.

This initiative was covered by a radio program that will be broadcast in 9 different radio stations in different countries.

Dareen is free and can be contacted directly

After Dareen Tatour finished serving her 5 months prison sentence, in addition to more than two and a half years under house arrest and severe restrictions – she was released on September 20, 2018. All the restrictions on her access to the internet and the ban on publishing her artistic works have thus expired.

You can now contact her directly at: “tatour.dareen@gmail.com”

Writing letters to Dareen in Damoun Prison

It is possible to write letters to Dareen while she is in prison.

Please notice that

(1) All letters to prisoners are read by the prison’s security officers and sometimes they are censored, delayed or confiscated.

(2) As it is not sure that the letters will be really delivered to Dareen, please send us a copy that will be delivered to Dareen upon her release.

You can use the following address (any one language should be enough):

Dareen Tatour

Damoun Prison

POB 98

Daliyat Al-Carmel

Israel

دارين طاطور

سجن الدامون

ص.ب. 98

دالية الكرمل

דארין טאטור

כלא דמון

ת.ד. 98

דלית אל-כרמל

Invitation to a spontaneous artistic evening: Farewell to poet Dareen Tatour before her imprisonment – Tuesday Aug 7, 2018

Dareen’s supporters to hold artistic night tonight, Tuesday, Aug 7, near her house in Reineh. After a trial lasting almost three-year, the Israeli court convicted Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour from the town of Reineh in the Galilee of “incitement to violence” and “supporting a terrorist organization”. The entire accusation is based on the publication of the poem “Resist My People” and two statuses on Facebook. Dareen was sentenced to five months in prison, three of which she had already spent in jail at the beginning of her detention in 2015. Dareen should now to go to jail on Wednesday, August 8.

Against this anti-democratic trial, and in order to support the steadfastness of the poetess who has waged a long struggle in the courts and in the public sphere against her persecution and in defence of the freedom of expression and freedom of the arts, we invite the public to participate in a spontaneous artistic evening in the courtyard of the Tatour family in Reineh on Tuesday, August 7, starting at 19:00.

We invite artists to participate in the evening by reading poetry or literary texts, by singing, playing music or by any other appropriate means of expression.

On Wednesday, August 8, we will accompany Dareen on her way to prison. We will gather at 8:00 am next to the family home.

Call for artistic performance in solidarity with Dareen Tatour

Artists Call for Creative Solidarity with Persecuted Palestinian Poet Dareen Tatour

Press Release – July 2018

Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was convicted by an Israeli court in Nazareth of “incitement to violence” for a poem she wrote. The prosecution demanded a long prison sentence and the final sentencing should be announced this Tuesday, July 31.

A group of artists and activists issued a call inviting musicians to contribute to a forthcoming digital album in protest of Tatour’s conviction.

Each musician is invited to contribute a piece of work in any genre using, as their lyrical base, the text of a poem by Tatour. The project aims to undermine and expose the true basis of her conviction by repeating and distributing her ‘illegal’ poem via the medium of music and art.

www.poemontrial.org

Pen International visits Tatour in Reineh and issues a new call of action

In the first week of October 2017, PEN International’s President, Mexican author Jennifer Clement, and PEN’s Executive Director, Catalan poet Carles Torner, visited Tatour at her home in Reineh near Nazareth. They conveyed the solidarity of Pen members worldwide with Dareen in her struggle for freedom of expression. They also presented to Dareen the new Pen Charter dedicated to promoting Women’s rights and expression opportunities, and recorded her enthusiastic response.

After their visit, Pen International issued a new call for action for Tatour – published on their site. It encourages Pen chapters to adopt different activities against Dareen’s persecution.

http://www.pen-international.org/newsitems/israel-verdict-delayed-in-trial-of-poet-dareen-tatour-detained-for-more-than-two-years

These visit and call of action was also reported in Mondoweiss.

Tatour’s Case tops Pen America site for October 2017

Thanks Pen America for choosing to highlight Dareen Tatour as their featured case for October 2017.

They have updated her case page here: https://pen.org/advocacy-case/dareen-tatour/

Their blog post, and call for supporters to sign the JVP petition, went live on October 1 and is available here: https://pen.org/october-featured-case-dareen-tatour/

Dareen Tatour Solidarity became major issue in the struggle to defend free speech in Israel

The Yaffa Solidarity event (August 30) put the case of Dareen Tatour at the center of the struggle about freedom of expression against the onslaught of the Israeli government led by minster for “culture” Miri Regev. After the event Ms. Regev didn’t only call for cutting public funding for the Yaffa Theatre but also called on the chief of the Israeli police to interrogate the organizers and the management of the theatre for incitement.

In an unprecedented move, the legal adviser to finance minister Kahlon started the process for cutting funding to the Yaffa Theatre, enacting the much denounced 2011 “Nakba Law”. This move started a new phase of organization by actors, directors and theatre managers to resist government pressure. (Some of it is covered by the report about the Yaffa event in Mondoweiss.)

There are many examples how the issue of freedom of expression is making more waves in Israeli public debate, and Tatour became a symbol of cultural resistance.

On September 19, when the Ophir Awards for Israeli cinema (“Israel’s Oscar”) were announced, on the stage one Arab actor, Lamis Amar, declared that “we will continue to create… even if imprisoned like Dareen Tatour”. (You can read about it in Haaretz in Hebrew).

At the same time Regev, which was not invited to the ceremony, issued an anti-Ophir video that started with congratulating herself with “not coming to dance to the songs of the famous Palestinian poets Darwish and Dareen Tatour”!

The essence of the political clash after the Yaffa event is very well summarized in a video by Assaf Harel.

Yaffa Solidarity event great success, August 30, 2017

Supporters of Dareen Tatour and of Free Speech and Arts held a solidarity night in the Arab-Hebrew Theater in Yaffa on August 30, 2017. The hall was crowded and many people stayed to watch the program on a big screen in the entrance.

You can read about the event in Haaretz  (also in Hebrew) and 972, and a more detailed story about the event and the political struggle around it in Mondoweiss.

Government pressure and threats before the Yaffa event

After complaint from extremist, both Israeli minister of “Culture” Miri Regev and “centrist” finance minister Kahlon threatened to stop the financing of the Yaffa Theatre for agreeing to host the event – even though the theatre itself is not in any way responsible for the event itself.

See a report about the threats from Ms. Regev to the Yaffa Theatre here. (Mr. Kahlon joined later, only on August 29.)

You can read more about it in Arabic here and in Hebrew here and here and here.

Pen America: Distant Lives, Forbidden Voices

On August 25, 2017, Pen America held a special event in New York for the freedom of persecuted artists, including Dareen Tatour..

You can watch the video from the event here, 3 poems from Tatour come at the end.

People all over the world expressed solidarity and demanded the immediate release of poet Dareen Tatour and the dropping of all charges against her

The case of Tatour is recognized world-wide as unjust persecution for legitimate political and artistic expression of protest. She became a symbol for many hundreds of Palestinians that were arrested and prosecuted by Israel for expressing protest against the occupation in social media.

International Petition

More than 300 prominent writers, intellectuals and artists published an open letter calling for Tatour’s release. Among those who endorsed the letter were Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Dave Eggers, Claudia Rankine and 10 Pulitzer Prize winners, including renowned poet Alice Walker and journalist Kathryn Schulz.

Since then, more than 8,000 people have signed this letter.

Jewish Voice for peace and Adalah-NY were most helpful with the organizing of this petition.

Here is a link to the site of the petition.

Hebrew Petition

More than 200 writers, poets and democratic activists, including David Grossman and A.B. Yehoshua, signed a Hebrew petition with similar demands.

Here is a link to the original petition in Hebrew.

PEN International

PEN International studied the case of Dareen Tatour and came to the conclusion that the charges against her establish violation of her right for free speech and the freedom of poetry. They issues several statements related to her case.

On The Day of The Imprisoned Writer, November 15, 2016, Tatour’s imprisonment was one of a few cases highlighted by PEN.

Tatour’s case was one of the main themes in International Translation Day 2016, translating the poem “Poet Behind Bars” to 15 languages.

She was also one of the poets highlighted in the World Poetry Day on March 21, 2017.

On World Poetry Day 2017 PEN called for the public to take action in solidarity with Tatour.

More from Pen

Declaration by English Pen

Declaration by Pen South Africa – and also here.

Declaration by Pen center USA

Recognition – Prizes

In June 2017 Dareen Tatour was awarded the Danish Carl Scharenberg award for her poetry and for standing against injustice.

A Hebrew online literature magazine, Maayan, gave Dareen Tatour the 2016 prize for creativity in struggle.

Addameer: Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association

Statement by Ad-Dameer analysing the case of Dareen Tatour

Poetry Events

The first poetry night in solidarity with Tatour was held in Haifa al-Ghad club in Wadi Nisnas, with the participation of several young Palestinian poets.

Two more poetry nights, mostly with Israeli poets, were organized by poet Tal Nitzan and a group of poets, in Sipur Pashut in Tel-Aviv on June 27, 2016, and in Al-Yakhour Hostel in Haifa on May 5, 2016. (You can read more about the Tel Aviv event in Mako in Hebrew).

Writing solidarity letters

You can write solidarity letters to Dareen Tatour by old mail (as she is not allowed access to the internet), using the following address (the English should be enough)

Write to Dareen Tatour:

الرينة صندوق بريد 29

الرمز البريدي (الميكود) 16940

Dareen Tatour

P.O.B. 29

Reineh – zip 16940

Israel

Now, after Dareen was released from prison, and the restrictions over her access to the internet expired, you can contact her directly by email at: “tatour.dareen@gmail.com”

 

US Literary Figures Renew Call for Freedom for Palestinian Poet Dareen Tatour

Eileen Myles, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ayelet Waldman, Jacqueline Woodson among writers in solidarity with imprisoned poet

August 29, 2017 – Prominent US poets, writers, playwrights and publishers issued statements today in support of imprisoned Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour ahead of her upcoming trial verdict on October 17.  The statements calling for her freedom, and demanding that Israel drop all charges against Dareen, released by Jewish Voice for Peace and Adalah-NY, come just as the Israeli government threatens to cut funding to a Yaffa Theater that agreed to host an artists’ solidarity event for Tatour on August 30th. Tatour, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, was arrested by Israeli authorities 22 months ago, in October 2015, and charged with incitement to violence primarily over a poem she posted online, “Resist, My People, Resist Them,” as well as two Facebook posts.

Following an initial three months of imprisonment after her arrest, Tatour has been held under house arrest for over a year-and-a-half. At her upcoming October 17 court date she expects to receive a verdict from an Israel court with high rates of conviction for both Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation as well as Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Numerous freedom of expression and literary organizations including PEN InternationalPEN America, and PEN South Africa have called for Tatour’s freedom, as have many Israeli artists and Israeli citizens. The 12 literary figures whose statements are being issued today are among 300 writers, including 11 Pulitzer Prize-winners, who signed a 2016 letter calling for freedom for Tatour after she was first arrested. These statements of solidarity with Dareen Tatour come from: Susan Abulhawa, Ben Ehrenreich, Deborah Eisenberg, Marilyn Hacker, Randa Jarrar, MJ Kaufman, Eileen Myles, Naomi Shihab Nye, John Oakes, Sarah Schulman, Ayelet Waldman and Jacqueline Woodson. Six of the statements follow. All 12 statements are available here.

Ben Ehrenreich, Writer: “When one fights without fear—when one fights with love instead, fighting looks like something else entirely. Like poetry. Dareen Tatour resists without fear, with poetry and with love, and they will not silence her. Stay strong, Dareen—we are with you.”

Randa Jarrar, Writer: “We must call on the international community to place pressure on Israel to release Dareen and other political prisoners whose ‘crimes’ are those of self-expression and resistance. No one should be forbidden from using the internet, publishing their writing, or attending events, whether they be political or not. The fact that writer Dareen Tatour continues to be placed under house arrest and only allowed out with a guardian is misogynist, racist, and unjust.”

Eileen Myles, Poet: Israel’s claim to be a democracy is roundly trounced by this attempt to silence Dareen Tatour. Language lives and dies in poetry and the human cry for freedom breathes in a poets utterance. A poet never stands alone and I’m proud to stand with the people of Palestine and globally who demand that Dareen Tatour’s voice and words are not criminalized, penalized and obstructed. As a human and a citizen of the earth it is her and all of our right to write and be heard.

Naomi Shihab Nye, Poet and Writer: “It’s an absolute outrage that poet Dareen Tatour has been treated this way by so-called democracy Israel for speaking truth and using the word Resist. We all resist. She deserves nothing but freedom and even bigger paper and more pens! We speak up for her in the name of justice and our own tax dollars channeled Israel’s direction for way too many years.”

Ayelet Waldman, Writer: “Two years ago Dareen Tatour was torn from her home in the middle of the night. A poet, incarcerated by Netanyahu’s right wing government for the crime of making her art. This must stop. She must be released.”

Jacqueline Woodson, Poet and Author: “I believe Dareen Tatour should be free to leave her home, to write what she needs to write for her own empowerment, to live her life as poet. Freely.”

Although the conditions of her house arrest were somewhat improved after the public outcry from the literary and international community in 2016, Dareen is still forbidden from using the internet, publishing any of her writings, or participating in any political events.

Dareen Tatour’s case represents just one of countless examples of Israel’s systematic suppression of Palestinian arts, culture and political expression. For example, Israel’s Minister of Culture Miri Regev continues to try to ban public readings of the poetry of the late, renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, and to shut down plays about Palestinian prisoners. Just recently, 67-year-old writer Ahmad Qatamesh was released by Israel after three months of imprisonment without charge. Dr. Qatamesh, named a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, has been jailed periodically for eight of the last 25 years.

Over 400 Palestinians, in both the occupied Palestinian territories and in Israel have been arrested for posts on social media in the last year alone. According to the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, Israel currently holds 6,128 Palestinian political prisoners, including 450 Palestinian “administrative detainees” held without charge or trial, 320 child prisoners and 62 Palestinian women. Since 1967 more than 800,000 Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) have been detained under Israeli military orders.

The full list of new statements from literary figures can be viewed here.

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Jewish Voice for Peace is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace  according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for  all the people of Israel and Palestine. JVP has over 200,000 online supporters,  over 70 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an  Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S.  intellectuals and artists.

Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel is a local, grassroots, non-hierarchical volunteer-only group of concerned individuals that advocates for justice, equality, and human rights for the Palestinian people. Adalah-NY organizes in support of the 2005 call by Palestinian civil society to maintain non-violent means of protest — including boycotts, divestment, and sanctions — until Israel respects Palestinians’ fundamental rights.