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On 6 June, Nabil Al-Raee – to the horror of his wife and daughter – was snatched from his house at 3am by Israeli soldiers with barking dogs. Nabil is the artistic director of the renowned 'Freedom Theatre' in the Jenin refugee camp and now, without any reason or legitimacy, faces the oppressive Israeli justice system.

According to his lawyer, he's being held in the Jalameh detention facility, know for inhuman treatment and restricting communication with the outside world. His lawyer is not allowed to speak with him and he has not yet been given any clear justification for his arrest. The military and anti-democratic character of Israeli detention policies allow initial detentions without trial and formal charges. This 'initial' period lasts 6 months, but it can also be renewed indefinitely.

However, this is not an isolated event. Over the past year, the Freedom Theatre has been incessantly attacked by the Israeli military. Several affiliates, from actors to directors, have been arrested, their homes ransacked, and the theatre premises vandalised. The Managing Director, Jonathan Stanczak, believes it is part of a campaign to intimidate and deter the Freedom Theatre from supporting of the investigation into the death of the well-known Israeli actor, political activist and Freedom Theatre founder Juliano Mer Khamis, shot dead by unknown gunmen in April 2011.

The Freedom Theatre opened its doors in 2006 providing the only professional venue for theatre and multimedia in the north of the West Bank. They have been working with a population of whom half are under 20. The vast majority of Palestinian youth is brought up into depression and trauma because of a shattered and hopeless society. The Freedom Theatre presents a safe and enriching space for the refugee youth to find a positive and creative outlet for their emotions, and to advance freedom of expression and respect for individual rights.

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