(NEW YORK)—  PEN America said today it is deeply concerned about reports that author Ahed Tamimi is being held in incommunicado detention following her arrest in the West Bank on Monday reportedly on the basis of antisemitic and hateful commentary on Instagram that Tamimi says is not properly attributable to her.

In its statement PEN America said the onus is on Israel’s authorities to bring to light information and evidence that will clarify the basis of Tamimi’s detention and the authenticity of the speech in question.

The statement said:

We do not believe individuals should be arrested or prosecuted based on social media posts except in very rare cases that amount to true threats or incitement to imminent violence.  

We have no information about Tamimi’s case or the authenticity of her posts, other than based on media reports and commentary.  

We are deeply concerned about reports that she is being held in incommunicado detention without charge. Tamimi’s detention on the basis of protected expression cannot be justified; we urge Israel to disclose her whereabouts and ensure she has access to attorneys.

All charges in relation to her protected speech must be dropped immediately, expediting her release.

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. To learn more visit PEN.org

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057