Palestinian DJ Sama’ Abdulhadi has been released on bail after being arrested and detained for eight days for hosting a rave near a West Bank mosque. Palestinian authorities arrested Abdulhadi on December 28 after she pre-recorded a performance as part of Beatport’s The Residency series.
The dance event was held at Maqam Nabi Musa in Palestine’s West Bank – which is partly a place of worship but has also been operating as a cultural centre and tourist site since 2019 – and specifically in the courtyard of a hostel on the site, separate to the mosque and shrine. According to a press release, the performance was private and attended only by a total of 30 friends and production crew members. However, despite the Palestinian Ministry Of Tourism having previously granted permission, the event was shut down by authorities who claimed it was inappropriate for it to be taking place on a holy site. The police went to Abdulhadi’s house the following day, where she was taken to the general attorney’s office to be detained.
With Palestinian rights groups demanding her freedom as well as 100,000 signatories to an online petition, Abdulhadi has now been released from the Jericho jail where she was held on bail. However, she has been banned from travelling outside of Palestine and is subject to further investigation on the charges of desecrating a religious site and religious symbols as well as violating COVID-19 emergency protocols. If indicted, Abdulhadi could face up to two years of imprisonment.
“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,” Abdulhadi said in a statement (via NME). “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.”