Dareen Tatour: Israeli Arab poet sentenced for incitement

Dareen Tatour: Israeli Arab poet sentenced for incitement

An Israeli Arab poet has been jailed for inciting violence and supporting a group banned as a terrorist organisation based on her online posts. Dareen Tatour was arrested in 2015 in connection with three posts, including video of her reading one of her poems over footage of stone-throwing Palestinian protesters. She said her poem was misunderstood and that she did not call for violence.

Tatour, who was convicted in May this year, was jailed for five months. The poet's case has become a cause celebre for free speech advocates and has drawn attention to a recent rise in Israeli arrests - of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank - accused of incitement or planning attacks online.

Israel has blamed incitement on social media for a wave of stabbings, shooting and car-rammings predominantly by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs which have left some 55 Israelis killed since October 2015. Hundreds of assailants have been killed and others arrested carrying out attacks, Israel says.

Following her sentencing, Tatour said that she was not surprised by the verdict. "I expected prison and that's what happened. I didn't expect justice. The prosecution was political to begin with because I'm Palestinian because it's about free speech and I'm imprisoned because I'm Palestinian", she said.

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