Israeli-Arab poet Dareen Tatour released from prison

Israeli-Arab poet Dareen Tatour, who was sentenced to a in July for poems and comments posted on social media, was released from prison Thursday morning.

The three-year legal and literary saga, which garnered widespread attention in Israel and abroad, became a cause célèbre among local and international activists, and a battleground for debates over free speech, discrimination and relations between Israel’s Jewish majority and its Arab minority.

Be the first to know –

“They tried for years to frighten me and to keep me from writing,” Tatour told The Jerusalem Post on the day of her release. “They did not succeed.”

Tatour said that she continued writing throughout her imprisonment, and is planning on releasing a memoir of her experience tentatively entitled My Dangerous Poem.

Tatour, 36, from the village of Reineh in the north of Israel, was indicted in November 2015 for pictures and poems posted to Facebook and YouTube. Tatour is one of only a few Israelis who have been convicted for their social media activity.

Israeli prosecutors insisted, however, that her poems and social media posts encouraged and promoted violence at a time when Palestinians were committing stabbings and other attacks on an almost daily basis.

“Dareen is a strong example of the Israeli government’s intentions of seizing Palestinian freedom of expression and to erase the national identity of Palestinians,” said Joint List MK Niven Abu Rahmoun in response to Tatour’s release. “Our struggle for these rights through a popular nonviolent political movement for freedom of expression and for self-determination must continue and we will not stop.”

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU: div.connatix{margin-top: 0px !important;}

Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content.