AMP stands in solidarity with Rasmea Odeh

March 30, 2017

(WASHINGTON DC 03/30/2017) -- After four years of legal wrangling and imprisonment our sister, beloved community leader Rasmea Odeh has agreed to give up her citizenship and accept voluntary departure from the United States.

Rasmea was convicted in 2014 of “illegally procuring” U.S. citizenship for failing to disclose she had spent time in an Israeli prison 40 years prior to her application. She had been a U.S. citizen for more than 20 years at the time of her arrest in 2013. Rasmea had won an appeal that would allow for a new trial and the submission of expert testimony about the effects Israeli torture and sexual abuse she suffered in Israeli prison. But in the interim the government filed new charges.

 A statement put out by the Rasmea Defense Committee, of which AMP is a part, reads:

The prospects for a fair trial are slimmer than ever. The prosecution team is now under the regime of racist Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and a new superseding indictment re-frames this as a case about “terrorism” rather than immigration. There is the great likelihood that a jury would be prejudiced by hearing the Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel call Rasmea a “terrorist” and her supporters “mobs and hordes,” as he has done many times before. As a Palestinian who has dedicated her life to the cause of liberation, it is impossible for Rasmea to expect a fair trial in U.S. courts.

AMP is disheartened that still, in 2017, there are people in the United States who know because of their race, socio-economic status or political beliefs they may not receive a fair trial, a right guaranteed everyone under the U.S. Constitution.

 “We are very saddened that Rasmea soon will leave our midst,” said AMP Media Director Kristin Szremski, who served on the defense committee for more than two years. “Her absence will be deeply felt by her women’s committee, the countless women and immigrants she helped, by the Palestine solidarity movement and by her friends. But we are happy she will not spend another day in jail.”

AMP calls upon its supporters to honor Rasmea’s legacy by becoming active in efforts to end the systemic racism in our prison and judicial systems so one day we can ensure all will feel confident in their right to a fair trial. We also call upon our supporters to honor Rasmea’s legacy by redoubling our efforts to work for justice in Palestine and for an end to Israeli occupation and apartheid.