Open Letter in Solidarity with Freedom Theatre (Jenin)

Over 100 Scottish playwrights and theatre writers, including Rona Munro, Stephen Greenhorn, Liz Lochhead, Gregory Burke, Adura Onashile, Alan Bissett, May Sumbwanyambe and Karine Polwart have signed an open letter condemning recent attacks on The Freedom Theatre of Jenin. The text of the letter and the full list of signatures can be viewed below.


As members of the Scottish playwriting community, we are horrified by the news that The Freedom Theatre of Jenin’s Artistic Director Ahmed Tobasi, Producer Mustafa Sheta, and youth trainer Jamal Abu Joas were recently taken hostage by the Israeli military.

Ahmed Tobasi has since been released, having sustained injuries through beatings. His colleagues, along with many other Palestinians taken hostage in Jenin, remain detained.

The Freedom Theatre performed in Glasgow, at the Tron Theatre, with their show The Siege as recently as 2015. Ahmed Tobasi performed the show And Here I Am at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 at the New Town Theatre, and contributed to the multi-artist celebration of Arab work Chill Habibi at Summerhall that same year. The Freedom Theatre are valued members of our international community. The targeting of their theatre and their violent detainment at the hands of the Israeli military is an affront to us all.

We join with our artistic colleagues in Scotland and across the globe in vociferously opposing these attacks on artists and their freedoms. We call on our elected representatives to demand the immediate release of our colleagues, and an end to the military occupation and its targeting of artists, journalists and writers in Palestine.


Maryam Hamidi
Kieran Hurley
Nicola McCartney
Liz Lochhead
Sara Shaarawi
Uma Nada-Rajah
May Sumbwanyambe
Lynda Radley
Julia Taudevin
Adura Onashile
Robbie Gordon
Jack Nurse
Hannah McGregor
Lewis Hetherington
May Sumbwanyambe
Garrick Pagel
Morna Young
Stephen Greenhorn
Drew Taylor-Wilson
Meghan Tyler
Stef Smith
Laurie Motherwell
Eve Nicol
Rona Munro
Jen McGregor
James Ley
Kolbrun B Sigfusdottir
Heather Marshall
Frances Poet
Imogen Stirling
Thomas Ambrosini
Liam Rees
Jack Hunter
Matthew Zajac
Lesley Hart
Mariem Omari
Kevin P. Gilday
Leah Byrne
Kris Haddow
Michael John O’Neill
Catriona MacLeod
Ross MacKay
Martin O’Connor
Rebecca Sharp
Harry Mould
Zoë Bullock
Jack Dickson
Andy Edwards
Andy McGregor
Mark Robson
Rachel O’Regan
Alice Clark
Linda McLean
Ben Ramsay
Deborah Klayman
Craig Stewart Ferguson
John McEwan-Whyte
Jules Horne
Edwin Stiven
Karine Polwart
Stewart Conn
Ishbel McFarlane
Gregory Burke
Garry Morris
Jenny Knotts
Ellie Stewart
Felix O’Brien
Alan Muir
Nelly Kelly
Finn Anderson
Elspeth Turner
Ross McClory
Katherine Mendelsohn
Rachel Flynn
Helen Shutt
Nalini Chetty
Linda Duncan McLaughlin
Eliza Gearty
Andy Moseley
Rachel Hamada
Liam Hurley
Holly Barbour
Wilma G. Stark
Joanne Thomson
Aimee Rutherford
Rachel Main
Louise Oliver
Giga Gray
Catrin Evans
Corinne Salisbury
Claire Macallister
Fatima Uygun
Cora Bissett
Henry Bell
Matthew McVarish
Jack MacGregor
Merryn Glover
Sue Glover
Steve McMahon
Kirstin Innes
Joe Douglas
Raymond Burke
Anita Vettesse
Jenna Watt
Alan Bissett
Amy Conway

Additional signatures are still being added. The growing list of signatures can be viewed along with the letter here:

The response to this has been significant, with our colleagues across the theatre community and beyond wishing to add their name. Anyone who wishes to support this letter by adding their signature can do so by emailing [email protected]

Comments (4)

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  1. Margaret Brogan says:

    Thank you all for doing this.

  2. Carolyn Yates says:

    Targeting the creative and cultural roots of a nation is barbaric. The government of Israel must be restrained. Its actions are not in the interests of a long term solution.

  3. Stephen McEwan says:

    Solidarity from Scotland

  4. Jane Jones says:

    This is so shocking – Freedom Theatre has helped thousands of young people find hope of a positive future. Wached Ahmed Tobasi ‘s stunning one man show a few weeks ago in Corsica and was moved and inspired by his courage and positivity despite what he was facing every day. Why on earth would you crush fragile cultural seedlings of hope.

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