Top court puts end to Palestinian poet’s four-year legal saga

Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was released from prison on September 20, 2018. She was arrested in October 2015, and later convicted of incitement to terrorism and violence for poems she published on social media. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour after her release from Damoun Prison, September 20, 2018. (photo: Oren Ziv / Activestills.org)
Four years ago, a Palestinian citizen of Israel was arrested because the security services decided a poem she wrote and published on her personal Facebook page was ‘incitement.’

By Oren Ziv  |  +972  |  Oct 3, 2019

The efforts to taint her poetry as a criminal act were now at an end.
— Attorney Gaby Lasky

Dareen Tatour, the Palestinian poet arrested in 2015 over a poem she published on Facebook, is finally free. After years of house arrest, months in prison, and dogged efforts by the government to secure the maximum conviction possible, the Supreme Court last week rejected the state’s petition to restore her overturned conviction for incitement to violence. With that, Tatour’s legal ordeal came to an end, more than four years after it began.

Tatour’s poem was published at the height of Palestinian protests across Israel and the West Bank and during a wave of so-called lone-wolf stabbing and vehicular attacks against Israeli security forces and civilians, largely in Jerusalem and Hebron. Following her arrest, which saw police storming her house in the middle of the night, Tatour was imprisoned for three months, then released and put under house arrest pending trial, a wait lasting nearly three years. She was forbidden from using the internet, the phone, or any other means of communication.

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