Yesterday’s battle in Nazareth District Court was a victory for artistic expression but not for free speech, when charges against Dareen Tatour’s poem “Resist, My People, Resist Them” were overturned, but those for her Facebook posts were upheld:
The ruling came yesterday, May 16, in the district court in Nazareth. Shortly after winning the appeal, Tatour re-posted the poem on Facebook.
The ruling came three and half years after her ordeal began, in October 2015. What followed was five months which Tatour spent in jail, two and a half years of which she was under house arrest, and the remainder with a conviction hanging over her.
On Tatour’s website, which is kept up by activists and supporters, they write of the ruling: “In an absurd twist they upheld the charges related to 2 “non-poetic” Facebook posts – and justified her imprisonment…”
It is a victory to the freedom of the arts – as the wide solidarity – locally and internationally – taught the Israeli oppressive apparatus that there is a high price to pay for imprisoning a poet for his poems….
Yet it is in no way vindication of the fake “Israeli Democracy” – as it still shows how any Palestinian can be persecuted and imprisoned for the slightest expression of verbal opposition to the crimes of the occupation.
Tatour continues to produce art. Last winter, her photo exhibition “I, Prisoner No. 9022438” opened at the Arabic-Hebrew Saraya Theater in Jaffa, and Tatour also has a show — “I, Dareen Tatour” — co-written with theatre artist Einat Weizman.