PEN condemns the decision of the Israeli court in Nazareth, on December 4, 2017, to reject the appeal of Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour to end her house arrest. Consequently, Tatour remains under house arrest, the conditions of which continue to be strict and include the prevention of her movement outside of her home unless under the supervision of a licensed chaperone, and a blanket ban on accessing the internet or publishing any of her works. According to the Free Dareen website, no date for a final verdict on her case has been set yet, but a new hearing has been scheduled for December 28, 2017 to allow both sides, the defense and the prosecution, to present complementary oral summaries to support their positions.

In October 2017, PEN International’s President, Jennifer Clement, and PEN’s Executive Director, Carles Torner, visited Tatour at her home in Reineh near Nazareth. This is Tatour’s message to the PEN membership:

‘As a detained poet, your support gave me a spark of hope that would never extinguish, and it confirmed that there is someone who works to protect the rights of the writer and the poet as a human being, and to ensure that the spark of creativity remains alight forever. Thank you PEN International. Thanks very much for visiting me, for your support, and standing by poets and writers who suffer and face imprisonment like myself solely for expressing their views through art.’

PEN believes Dareen Tatour is being targeted for the peaceful exercise of her right to free expression and reiterates its call upon the Israeli authorities to end Tatour’s house arrest and for all charges against her to be dropped.

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Please send appeals to the Israeli authorities:

  • Condemning the Israeli court’s decision on December 4, 2017 which rejected Dareen Tatour’s request to end her house arrest;
  • Urging them to release poet Dareen Tatour from house arrest immediately and unconditionally, as well as for all charges against her to be dropped;

Write to:

Minister of Justice
Ayelet Shaked
Ministry of Justice
29 Salah al-Din Street, Jerusalem, 91010, Israel
Fax: +972 2 628 5438
Email: [email protected] 

Attorney General
Avichai Mendelbilt
Ministry of Justice
29 Salah al-Din Street, Jerusalem 91010, Israel
Fax: +972 2 530 3367
Email[email protected]

Please copy your appeals to the Embassy of Israel in your country. A list of embassies can be found here:

Please send us copies of your letters or information about other activities and of any responses received.


PEN members are encouraged to:

  • Publish articles and opinion pieces in your national or local press highlighting Dareen Tatour’s case;
  • Organize public events, press conferences, poetry readings or demonstrations;
  • Join the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee in translating her poetry, available in the original Arabic here and other languages here;
  • If you have not already done so, consider signing this petition for Tatour:;


Consider adopting Dareen Tatour as an Honorary Member of your Center. Details of how to campaign for honorary members may be found in the Writers in Prison Committee Handbook, available here.


Tatour’s arrest at her home in Reineh, a small town near Nazareth, on October 11, 2015 came amidst a wave of violent attacks on Israeli soldiers and citizens, and a corresponding crackdown by the Israeli authorities, which saw its officers given greater opportunity to open fire. She is currently under house arrest until the conclusion of her trial on charges of ‘support for a terrorist organization’ (under articles 4(b) + (g) of the Prevention of Terror Ordinance-1948) and several counts of incitement to violence (under article 144(d) 2 of the Penal Code-1977). The charges relate to a video, which Tatour posted on YouTube, in which she recites one of her poems entitled,‘Qawim ya sha’abi, qawimhum (Resist, my people, resist them).’ In the video, the poem is set to music against a backdrop of video footage of Palestinian resistance – as men throw stones at the Israeli military. At the time of her arrest, the video had been viewed a mere 153 times according to the indictment.

For more information on Tatour’s case, read our case page here

For any further information, please contact Nael Georges, PEN International, Koops Mill Mews, 162-164 Abbey Street, London SE1 2AN | Tel: +44 (0) 207 405 0338 | Email: [email protected]