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Drop Charges Against Palestinian Activist Now

November 7th, 2013

Demand End to U.S. Repression of Palestine Activists 

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is deeply concerned with the October 22 arrest and indictment of Rasmea Yousef Odeh on alleged immigration fraud by agents of the Department of Homeland Security.

Rasmea, a 65-year-old Palestinian-American activist, is well-known and respected for her work with the Arab-American community in Chicago. Her arrest reflects a pattern of repressive U.S. government actions against Palestinian activists and people who stand with them. We call on the U.S. government to halt any and all activities that are meant to intimidate and silence Palestinians and solidarity activists in the United States.  

Send an email demanding the U.S. government Drop the Charges Now!

Rasmea is the Associate Director of the Arab American Action Network where she founded the Arab Women's Committee, working with its now 600 members. This year she was honored by the Chicago Cultural Alliance and received the "Outstanding Community Leader" award. Her dedication and accomplishments as an advocate for Arab Americans and Palestinian rights have made her an inspiration for many. 

This arrest comes three years after twenty-three anti-war and Palestinian rights activists were subpoenaed to testify before a Grand Jury. Several of these activists also had their homes raided by the FBI and no indictments have been filed against any of them. Rasmea is from the same community as many of these activists and her arrest raises the troubling question of whether she is being targeted in an effort to continue intimidating and silencing those who work for Palestinian rights. According to Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, during the past year alone there have been more than 75 documented cases of intimidation and legal bullying of activists. 

Rasmea is being charged for allegedly lying on her immigration application back in 1994 by failing to mention an arrest and conviction in an Israeli military court over 40 years ago. During Rasmea’s interrogation and subsequent ten years in an Israeli prison, she was subjected to years of unspeakable, inhumane, and illegal torture by Israeli prison authorities. “Confessions” extracted under torture are one of the many deeply disturbing aspects of an Israeli military judicial system that systematically violates the human rights of Palestinians. 

If convicted Rasmea faces up to 10 years in prison, being stripped of her U.S. citizenship, and probable deportation. Our friends at the U.S. Palestinian Community Network are asking that the following actions be taken in support of Rasmea:

Send an email to U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan 
Barbara McQuade demanding she Drop the Charges Now!

Pack the courtroom on November 13 for Rasmea’s first hearing in Detroit. If you cannot make it, participate in a National Day of Action to support Rasmea wherever you are. Hold local protests, vigils, banner drops, or other actions to show support for Rasmea as she faces this persecution. Details here. 

Send pictures holding up the following message: "I am ________ and I support Rasmea!" You should fill in the blank with a self-identifier such as "I am a stay-at-home dad and I support Rasmea!" and "I am a supporter of Palestinian human rights and I support Rasmea!" Send your pictures to cppr@aaan.org (your image may be published and distributed). 

Like this Facebook page and tweet with the hashtag #justice4rasmea.

As an organization working to change U.S. policy towards Palestine/Israel and to end all U.S. support for Israeli occupation and apartheid, we demand an immediate end to campaigns of political intimidation against Palestinians and solidarity activists in the United States

Thank you. 

-US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation