Thank You to all who have stepped up this year - 2012 - to support the Freedom Theatre in Jenin.

Zakaria Zubeidi is still at home as of this writing (28. December, 2012) - after his long imprisonment by the Palestinian Authority earlier this year. Below is his message delivered to all who supported him throughout the difficult days of his detention. It was made about two months ago when he was freed on bail...

 

Our warmest wishes for a peaceful and loving New Year 2013 to Zakaria Zubeidi and his family and ALL at the Freedom Theatre in Jenin, from the Scottish Friends Of The Freedom Theatre!

ZAKARIA ZUBEIDI - co-founder of the Jenin Freedom Theatre

 

- who returned voluntarily to Jericho prison this past Wednesday after being freed for the Eid holiday - had a hearing yesterday at the prison to determine his status and - it was hoped - to be freed once and for all from indefinite administrative detention under the Palestinian Authority.

 

There have been no charges levelled against Zakaria by the P.A. He has now been incarcerated for three months - since early May this year.

 

The hearing - initially scheduled for this past Wednesday, was postponed until yesterday - Sunday, 26. August.

 

However, the judge ordered that instead of being freed, Zakaria should remain incarcerated for at least one more week - until another hearing next Sunday...

 

The Scottish Friends of the Freedom Theatre have repeatedly called on the Palestinan Authority for Zakaria to be freed immediately.

 

Human Rights Watch has thoroughly examined his case and and that of the Freedom Theatre generally, and reached the same conclusion:

 

hrw.org/news/2012/07/27/israelpalestinian-authority-theater-group-hit-both-sides

 

The latest news about Zakaria's continued detention is here:

 

http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/news.php?id=274

 

We repeat the call - Scotland's Actors, Directors, Playwrights, Screenwriters, Poets, Artists and Academics demand with one voice:

 

Free ZAKARIA ZUBEIDI immediately and unconditionally.

 

ZAKARIA ZUBEIDI freed for Eid !

 [ See Story Above, However...]

 

A hearing is set for Wednesday, 22. August, 2012.

 

Thanks to all who have been supporting the FreedomTheatre and calling for Zakaria to be freed immediately - It seems this call has been heard!

Appearing in THE LIST - the Glasgow/Edinburgh Events Guide - 8. August, 2012:

 

A Statement From The Scottish Theatre & Arts Community

Zakaria Zubeidi
Zakaria Zubeidi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We, Actors, Directors, Poets and Artists of Scotland, wish to express our wholehearted support for the courageous, compassionate, artistically important work of

THE FREEDOM THEATRE

in
Jenin, the West Bank
Palestine

 

We further express our deep concern at the ongoing harassment and attempted
intimidation of the Freedom Theatre and its founders, staff and students by both the Israeli Army and the Palestinian Authority.

 

We call on the Palestinian Authority to immediately free Mr. Zakaria Zubeidi,
co-founder of the Freedom Theatre, who has been detained without charge
since May, and repeatedly arrested and released without charge in the months
before that.


The children and young adults of all refugee camps need more Theatre and creative
endeavor, not less. The work of The Jenin Freedom Theatre is vital to these children,
young people and adults in Jenin, and essential to a more peaceful, just and equitable world.  


The Scottish Friends of the Freedom Theatre


Liz Lochhead - National Poet of Scotland, Mary McCluskey - Artistic Director, Scottish Youth Theatre, Paul Laverty - Screenwriter, David Grieg - Playwright, David Harrower - Playwright, Dave Anderson - Actor/Writer/Director/Songwriter, Aonghas Macneacail - Poet/Songwriter, Gerda Stevenson - Actor/Writer/Director, Cora Bissett - Actor/Director,  Brian Ferguson, Henry Bell, Henry King, Dr. David Archibald - School of Culture and Creative Arts/University of Glasgow, Francis McKee - Centre For Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, Pauline Goldsmith - Actress/Director, Paul Birchard - Actor/Director, Tam Dean Burn - Actor/Director, Mandy Sykes - Actor, Peter MacDougall - Screenwriter,  William Letford - Poet, Euan Sutherland - Visual Artist, Jay Benedict - Actor/Director, Mark Mackie - Regular Music, Karen Douglas - Artistic Director, SpartakI Theatre Co.,              Mark Brown - Theatre Critic, Sunday Herald


www.thefreedomtheatre.org                      www.freedomtheatrescots.jimdo.com

 

A Public Letter In Support of the Jenin Freedom Theatre [Updated 6. July, 2012]

Zakaria Zubeidi
Zakaria Zubeidi

The Scottish Friends of the Freedom Theatre sent out the original PUBLIC LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE JENIN FREEDOM THEATRE [see below] a week ago, on June 28, 2012. To date it has not been published.

 

The situation with Mr. Zakaraia Zubeidi and Mr. Nabil Al Raee has worsened, in that they remain in custody - Mr. Zubeidi in a Palestinian Authority prison in Jericho, and Mr. Al Raee in an Israeli army prison in Israel.

 

Both men have now announced they will go on hunger strike until they are freed.

 

Mr. Zubeidi has not been charged with any crime, and the "charges" against Mr. Al Raee have changed as each has been discovered to be baseless and nothing but lies.

 

In this light, the Scottish Friends of the Freedom Theatre write again, publicly, to awaken the general public and the media of Scotland, to this unacceptable attack and harasssment on a profoundly courageous and artistic group - The Freedom Theatre.

 

====================================================

 

      A  PUBLIC  LETTER  IN  SUPPORT  OF  THE  JENIN  FREEDOM  THEATRE

The Freedom Theatre, located in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank in Plaestine, is a shining beacon of sanity, fun, artistry, craft, compassion and community/national struggle.

Originally founded in the 1980's by Arna Mer Khamis, a Jewish woman married to a Palestinian man, it brought for the first time an outlet for the children of Jenin refugee camp to express their full range of feelings in the face of the brutal military occupation of their very neighborhood and city.

The original theatre was destroyed in 2002 by the Israeli army, but Arna's son, Juliano Mer Khamis - a successful actor / director in Israel and overseas - moved to Jenin an restarted the theatre in 2006, naming it The Freedom Theatre.

The Freedom Theatre has brought all sorts of performers - actors, dancers, poets, writers - most recently our own Liz Lochead, the Makar or Poet Laureate of all Scotland - to Jenin, to work with the children and young people there. The Freedom Theatre has an Acting School, and its students performed in New York City and in Germany during 2011.

Last year, tragically, Juliano Mer Khamis, the lively, dedicated Artistic Director of the Freedom Theatre, was gunned down right in front of the theatre. His murder remains unsolved. His work as Artistic Director was taken over by Mr. Nabil Al Raee, head of the Acting School.

Since that time there has been a mounting campaign of harassment and intimidation directed against The Freedom Theatre by both the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli army - including many raids in the dead of night by masked Israeli soldiers, destroying the fabric of the theatre building and its equipment and arresting Administrative, Artistic and Technical personnel on six separate occasions, detaining them for weeks and months on baseless charges that have consistently been found to be without the slightest truth or merit, before finally freeing them.

On May 5, Mr. Zakaria Zubeidi, the only living member of the original Theatre, was arrested again by the Palestinian Authority and illegally taken from Jenin to a prison in Jericho, out of the proper jurisdiction. Mr. Zubeidi is well known for having renounced violence and armed resistance to the Israeli occupation, in favor of cultural resistance.

Mr. Zubeidi was granted amnesty years ago by the Israeli army, but the Palestinian Authority continues its tactic of arresting him, denying him access to a lawyer and to his family, and refusing to lay any charges against him.  

On June 6, at 3:15 a.m., the Israeli army - in masks - arrested Mr. Nabil Al Raee - current Artistic Director of the Freedom Theatre and Head of its Acting School, at his home in front of his family.  

Despite an Israeli judge at one hearing declaring to the prosecutors that Mr. Al Raee is not suspected of any crime, he remains in custody and has had only scant contact with his lawyer and none with his family.

Mr. Al Raee and Mr. Zubeidi have announced that they are beginning a hunger strike until they are freed.

 

In this way they join the hundreds of other Palestinian prisoners currently incarcerated under "Administrative Detention" who have undertaken hunger strikes to improve prison conditions and to regain their freedom to resume normal life.

The Theatre community in Scotland is intensely concerned about this matter.

Nabil Al Raee and Zakaria Zubeidi are artists, not a criminals, but apparently in the West Bank, being an artist at The Freedom Theatre is now a crime. The IDF and the PA, in their continuing harassment of The Freedom Theatre staff, have taken into custody these individuals who have chosen to resist through purely artistic means.

 

We believe they are being targeted in an effort to intimidate and harass The Freedom Theatre, due to its vital work in serving and empowering refugee youth and its artistic expression of political and personal viewpoints.

The children of all refugee camps need more Theatre, more Arts activity, not less.

 

The Freedom Theatre stands for and actively engenders, more personal freedom and free expression, not less - in Jenin specifically, and across the world by way of its ongoing courageous, selfless example.

We denounce these arrests and detentions. We demand the immediate release of Nabil Al Raee and Zakaria Zubeidi.  If they continue to remain incarcerated, we demand that they be afforded proper legal protections due to any person under the law: including public hearings where the reasons for their arrests are made public, continuing access to counsel, immediate access to their families, and humane conditions during their detention.

For any nation or society that claims to be a parliamentary democracy, where the rule of law presides over public life, it is necessary that all persons be protected by due process and from unlawful arrest, torture or abuse, including arbitrary imprisonment by the military. For any such nation or society to thrive, artists must be free to express themselves.

In human and artistic solidarity with fellow Artists in Palestine, and with Danny Glover, Miriam Margoyles and many many other distinguished actors, directors, playwrights, poets and artists around the world, we ask that the Israeli and Palestinian authorities reconsider their positions immediately and begin to engage in actions that demonstrate respect for the Arts and all peoples' basic human rights.

                             Scottish Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre


Liz Lochhead - National Poet of Scotland

Mary McCluskey - Artistic Director, Scottish Youth Theatre

Paul Laverty - Screenwriter, THE ANGELS' SHARE, AE FOND KISS, etc.

David Grieg - Playwright

David Harrower - Playwright

Dave Anderson - Actor/Writer/Director/Songwriter

Aonghas Macneacail - Poet/Songwriter

Gerda Stevenson - Actor/Writer/Director

 

Cora Bissett - Actor/Director

 

Peter MacDougall - Screenwriter


Brian Ferguson

Henry Bell

Henry King

Dr. David Archibald
School of Culture and Creative Arts
University of Glasgow

Francis McKee - Centre For Contemporary Arts, Glasgow

Pauline Goldsmith -  Actress/Director

Paul Birchard - Actor/Director

Tam Dean Burn - Actor Director

Mandy Sykes - Actor  

William Letford - Poet

Euan Sutherland - Visual Artist

Jay Benedict - Actor/Director

Mark Mackie - Regular Music

Karen Douglas - Artistic Director, SpartakI Theatre Co.

 

Mark Brown - Theatre Critic, Sunday Herald

A Public Letter In Support of the Jenin Freedom Theatre

Zakaria Zubeidi
Zakaria Zubeidi

 

A Statement By The Theatre Community of Scotland

 

It has come to our attention that on June 6, 2012, Nabil Al Raee, Artistic Director of The Freedom Theatre, located in Jenin, on the West Bank in Palestine, was arrested at gunpoint at 3:15am by the Israeli Defense Forces at his home there.  This arrest by masked Israeli soldiers in the middle of the night, and the continuing detention of Mr. Al Raee violates his basic human rights and international law.

Mr. Al Raee was held for over two weeks before being allowed counsel and has still not been allowed to see his family. He has not been brought to court or accused of any crime.

In Israel this arrest would be illegal.  Under international law this arrest and detention is illegal, and it should be illegal in the Occupied Territory of The West Bank.

Production, Artistic and Administrative staff of The Freedom Theatre have been arrested and detained without charge six times in the last ten months.

On May 5, The Freedom Theatre co-founder, Zakaria Zubeidi, was arrested by Palestinian Authority security forces.  He remains in custody with no clear reason for his arrest and has also not been given access to his family.

Mr. Zubeidi is well known for his determination to eschew armed resistance to the Israeli occupation in favor of cultural resistance.

In the light of Mr. Zubeidi's continuing arrests and detentions, and the tragic unsolved murder of Juliano Mer Khamis, the late Artistic Director of The Freedom Theatre, in April of 2011, right in front of the Freedom Theatre, and from  "ARNA'S  CHILDREN" - the documentary feature film produced and directed by Mr. Mer-Khamis - it is  abundantly clear that we all need more Theatre, not less.

The children of all refugee camps need more Theatre, more Arts activity, not less. The Freedom Theatre stands for and actively engenders, more personal freedom and free expression, not less - in Jenin specifically, and across the world by way of its ongoing courageous, selfless example.

Nabil Al Raee is an artist, not a criminal, but apparently in the West Bank, being an artist at The Freedom Theatre is now a crime. The IDF, in its continuing harassment of The Freedom Theatre staff, has taken a man into custody who has chosen to resist through purely artistic means.  We believe that Mr. Al Raee is being targeted in an effort to intimidate and harass The Freedom Theatre, due to its vital work in serving and empowering refugee youth and its artistic expression of political and personal viewpoints.

The Theatre community in Scotland is intensely concerned about this matter.

We denounce these arrests and detentions. We demand the immediate release of Nabil Al Raee and Zakaria Zubeidi.  If they continue to remain incarcerated, we demand that they be afforded proper legal protections due to any person under the law: including public hearings where the reasons for their arrests are made public, continuing access to counsel, immediate access to their families, and humane conditions during their detention.

For any nation or society that claims to be a parliamentary democracy, where the rule of law presides over public life, it is necessary that all persons be protected by due process and from unlawful arrest, torture or abuse, including arbitrary imprisonment by the military. For any such nation or society to thrive, artists must be free to express themselves.

In human and artistic solidarity with a fellow Artist, we ask that the Israeli and Palestinian authorities reconsider their positions immediately and begin to engage in actions that demonstrate respect for the Arts and all peoples' basic human rights.

                       Scottish Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre


Liz Lochhead - National Poet of Scotland

Mary McCluskey - Artistic Director, Scottish Youth Theatre

Paul Laverty - Screenwriter, THE ANGELS' SHARE, AE FOND KISS, etc.

David Grieg - Playwright

David Harrower - Playwright

Dave Anderson - Actor/Writer/Director/Songwriter

Aonghas Macneacail - Poet/Songwriter

Gerda Stevenson - Actor/Writer/Director

 

Cora Bissett - Actor/Director

 

Peter MacDougall - Screenwriter


Brian Ferguson

Henry Bell

Henry King

Dr. David Archibald
School of Culture and Creative Arts
University of Glasgow

Francis McKee - Centre For Contemporary Arts, Glasgow

Pauline Goldsmith -  Actress/Director

Paul Birchard - Actor/Director

Tam Dean Burn - Actor Director

Mandy Sykes - Actor  

William Letford - Poet

Euan Sutherland - Visual Artist

Jay Benedict - Actor/Director

Mark Mackie - Regular Music

Karen Douglas - Artistic Director, SpartakI Theatre Co.

 

Mark Brown - Theatre Critic, Sunday Herald

Contact:

 

freedomtheatrescots@operamail.com

 

info@thefreedomtheatre.org