English PEN joins PEN International in strongly condemning the five-month prison sentence (with six months suspended) handed down to Dareen Tatour today, 31 July, by the Nazareth District Court. As Tatour has already served three months in jail, she is reportedly due to serve only the remaining two months, starting from 8 August 2018. PEN considers that Tatour has been targeted for peacefully exercising her right to free expression through poetry and activism and continues to call for her immediate and unconditional release.
Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian poet and citizen of Israel, was convicted by the Nazareth Court on 3 May 2018 on charges of incitement to violence and support for terror organisations. She has spent almost three years in jail or under house arrest since October 2015. Tatour’s conviction is mainly related to a video in which she recites one of her poems entitled: ‘Qawim ya sha’abi, qawimhum (Resist, my people, resist them).’
PEN International President Jennifer Clement, who met Dareen Tatour at her home in Nazareth last year, said:
Today PEN International stands with Dareen Tatour, as we have for the past torturous years of jail time, trials and house arrest, and defends freedom of expression and asks for her freedom. We stand with Tatour’s own words: poetry is not a crime.
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