Palestinian DJ released after being arrested for performing near West Bank mosque

Sama' Abdulhadi was detained by the Palestinian Authority on December 28

Palestinian DJ Sama’ Abdulhadi has been released on bail after being detained for eight days for performing near a West Bank mosque.

Abdulhadi was arrested by the Palestinian authorities on December 28 after she pre-recorded a performance for Beatport’s The Residency series.

According to a press release, the event was private and attended only by 30 friends and members of the crew who were working on the production. It was held at Maqam Nabi Musa in Palestine’s West Bank, which is partially a place of worship but was also opened as a cultural centre in 2019.

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The event that Abdulhadi DJed at was held in the courtyard of a hostel on the site, which is separate to the mosque and shrine. However, the performance was shut down by authorities who reportedly said it was inappropriate for the event to be taking place on a religious site, despite the Palestinian Ministry Of Tourism previously giving permission for the production to take place there.

The recording was shut down before the end of the performance and the police went to Abdulhadi’s house the next day, where they took her to the general attorney’s office and detained her.

Palestinian National Authority: Call for the immediate release of Sama Abdulhadi – Sign the Petition! chng.it/BdwKrv2w

Posted by Roger Waters on Thursday, December 31, 2020

Abdulhadi has now been released from the Jericho jail in which she was held on bail. She is not allowed to travel outside of Palestine and is subject to further investigation on the charges of desecrating a holy site and religious symbols as well as violating COVID-19 emergency measures. She could face up to two years imprisonment if she is indicted.

In a statement, Abdulhadi said: “I am safe and well and would like to thank everybody who has spoken out in support of my situation and called for my immediate release.

“I am overwhelmed by the support from my fellow musicians, artists, activists and the entire music community. I want to thank anybody and everybody who has made me feel so supported. At this moment, I just want to spend time with my family.”

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The 30-year-old’s arrest sparked support around the world, including with artists such as Brian Eno and Roger Waters, and actor Mark Ruffalo. A petition calling for her release has gained over 100,000 signatures at the time of writing.

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