Human rights organizations called on Tuesday, December 29, for the release of DJ Sama Abdulhadi, arrested by Palestinian police after giving a concert at an archaeological and religious site in the occupied West Bank, having raised a wave of criticism.
Considered the first Palestinian female DJ, Sama Abdulhadi, 30, was arrested by police on Sunday, December 27 after an electronic music concert held the night before at Nabi Moussa, the alleged location of the prophet Moses’ tomb near Jericho. According to Ammar Dweik, director of the Independent Palestinian Commission for Human Rights (an organization created by the Palestinian Authority), Sama Abdulhadi had received authorization from the authorities for this concert.
“Today we asked for her release because her arrest is not logical (…) she had received an authorization from the Ministry of Tourism“, he told AFP.
“Nabi Moussa is not only a religious site but also a tourist site (…) and if electronic music was not appropriate there, the ministry should not have given its authorization“, he said, adding that his detention had been extended Tuesday by 15 days.
The musician’s family, who have requested an explanation from the authorities, said in a statement that the bail application had been rejected. Shared on social networks, videos showing men and women dancing in Nabi Moussa sparked outrage, with Internet users believing that it was a desecration of the place, where a mosque is also located.
“What happened yesterday in Jericho is truly disgusting. It’s an insult to the three religions“monotheists, one of them blasted on Twitter.”How dare a bunch of liberal Palestinians party at Nabi Moussa Mosque?“During the concert, men entered the compound of the building and pushed the participants out. At the request of Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, a commission of inquiry was set up.”to determine what happened to Nabi Moussa“.
Human rights organization Al-Haq criticized a “arbitrary arrest“, aimed at satisfying part of the Palestinian opinion, according to its director Chaawane Jabarine. Moreover, the concert took place despite the restrictions in force in the West Bank to fight against the new coronavirus, including confinement.