The Freedom Theatre, Jenin. Free Al-Raee and Zakaria Zubeidi.
The Freedom Theatre is a theatre and cultural centre in Jenin refugee camp. Since 2006, it has offered a professional performance and multimedia facilty to the people of the area.
The theatre's personnel appear to be under close surveillance and there have been, in recent times, four reported incidents of violence or abduction towards staff including the unsolved murder of one co-founder. The most recent event is that the current artistic director was abducted from home last week [details below].
I feel that regardless of one's views on the situation in Jenin, this theatre represents a place for local people to learn skills and share creativity. Staff should be able to work for such positive efforts, offering hope in the middle of conflict; I believe 38degrees members can try to stop this latest abduction turning into another tragedy.
"Nabil Al-Raee, Artistic Director of The Freedom Theatre, was abducted in the early hours of yesterday, June 6th , by the Israeli army (see previous press release: http://thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=238).
According to Nabil's lawyer, Smadar Ben-Natan, he is presently being held in the Jalameh detention centre north of Jenin, inside Israel. This has been the only information given to the lawyer thus far. The interrogations at Jalameh and other military detention centres commonly involve inhuman treatment; sleep deprivation, psychological pressure and binding in painful positions.
This is the Israeli army’s fourth attack on The Freedom Theatre, its employees and their families. On numerous occasions The Freedom Theatre has expressed its full cooperation in the investigation of the murder of Juliano Mer Khamis and has proved this cooperation by meeting every requested appointment.
This last abduction of Nabil Al-Raee has led us to the conviction that the regular and systematized harassment of the employees of The Freedom Theatre has nothing to do with the investigation of the murder of Juliano but that it is clearly a campaign directed at the Freedom Theatre itself.
We urge all supporters of The Freedom Theatre specifically and protectors of art and culture in general to call and e-mail the nearest Israeli representative office to demand the immediate release of Nabil Al-Raee (ID-number 906349162) and an end to the systematic harassment of the members of The Freedom Theatre. In addition, please call the District Coordination Office of the Israeli army at +972-(0)4-640-73-12. "
Freedom Theatre press release, available at http://thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=239.
L Molloy commented
Please see Guardian piece about the work of the theatre here: