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.Sama’ Abdulhadi (SAMA)
Feature Image Credit: Sama’ Abdulhadi by Tristan Hollingsworth
On December 27th, 2020; Palestinian techno DJ and electronic musician Sama’ Abdulhadi – also known as SAMA – performed at a private event hostel on the Nabi Musa site in the Palestinian West Bank.
As a four-part series of pre-recorded video performances by Beatport’s The Residency; the event was hosted at Maqam Nabi Musa in the West Bank, which is still in use as a place of worship – yet has also been declared a tourist destination by the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism, with the destination available for hire for many different events. Abdulhadi’s performance was previously approved by the General Director of the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism, according to Beatport.
Unfortunately following the performance, on December 28th Abdulhadi was subsequently detained and questioned by Palestianian Authority following the private event of 30 people commissioned by Beatport; with the authorities citing that the artist is under investigation for desecration of a religious site and holy symbols, as well as breaking Covid-19 health protocols.
She was then detained for an eight-day detention in a Jericho jail.
Thank goodness, Abdulhadi has now been released on bail following a cash bond of 500 Jordanian dinar, which is the equivalent of￡519 or $705 USD. However, the DJ is still under investigation and therefore is unable to leave Palestine. If she is indicted, she could face two years in prison. In an official statement by Beatport, it reads:
Though she has not been indicted, Abdulhadi faces up to two years of imprisonment, and is awaiting the Attorney General’s decision as to whether the charges will be pursued or not following the final results of the investigation. Abdulhadi is now safely with her family.
There has been an incredible amount of support pouring in from around the globe from fellow DJs, musicians and the electronic music industry in general; with the likes of Brian Eno and Roger Waters asking for her immediate release.
A change.org petition was set up for Sama’ Abdulhadi calling for her to be immediately released from her detention. While the petition is now closed due to her release on a cash bond, it amassed an incredible 101,752 supporters. We hope for the best for Sama as she finds herself in this terrible situation, and are glad that she is now safe with her family.
You can read Beatports full statement here.