Palestinian electronic musician and DJ Sama’ Abdulhadi has been released on bail and is safely back with her family. The 30-year-old DJ was incarcerated for eight days in a Jericho jail after she was held for questioning and then detained on December 27 following a private event created for a pre-recorded performance series for Beatport.
Sama’ was released on a cash bond of 500 Jordanian Dinar bail, 2000 Jordanian Dinars bail bond and is restricted from travelling outside of Palestine. The artist is subject to further investigation on the charges of desecrating a holy site and religious symbols and violating COVID-19 emergency measures, according to Beatport. Abdulhadi has not been indicted for the charges and is curremtly awaiting a decision from Attorney Generals on whether the charges will be pursued or not. She faces up to two years of imprisonment if indicted.
The event Abdulhadi was playing was a private party organised by Beatport for its pre-recorded performance series ‘The Residency’, a four-part, one-month residency for the platform. The third event stream was held in the courtyard of a hostel at the Nabi Musa site where Muslims believe the tomb of Prophet Moses lies.
The site is in part used as a place of worship. It was also declared a tourist attraction in 2019 by the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities as part of a €5 million EU-funded programme implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, and is regularly available for hire for events.
Locals have said the party itself did not take place inside the holy shrine, locals have said, but in a part of the building that has hosted weddings, birthdays, music and other cultural events in the past.
Read an official statement from Beatport on the detention of DJ and musician Sama’ Abdulhadi by the Palestinian Authority here.
Following Abdulhadi’s arrest, a petition calling for her release gained more than 100,000 signatures with many fellow electronic music artists sharing it, including Brian Eno and Charlotte De Witte.
Speaking upon her release, Sama’ 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.”