Rasmea Odeh, 67, was arrested in October of 2013 by agents of the Department of Homeland Security and charged with immigration fraud for allegedly “lying” on her citizenship application twenty years ago. Odeh is a Chicago Palestinian and respected Arab community organizer, haunted by a forty year old conviction in an Israeli military court. If found guilty, she could face up to ten years in federal prison, an immediate revocation of her citizenship, and deportation from the United States.
Odeh’s “lie” was her failure to report her arrest by the Israeli military in 1969. While in the Israeli custody she was tortured into confessing her alleged association with a group that the U.S. has designated a terrorist organization, and for suspected involvement in two bombings in Jerusalem.
Since her immigration to the United States in 1994 she has worked tirelessly in Detroit and Chicago for human rights, social justice and community economic development. In recognition of her contributions in empowering women and communities, Odeh has received several awards including the “Outstanding Community Leader Award” from the Chicago Cultural Alliance in 2013.
Due to post traumatic stress disorder as a result of her severe torture, Odeh did not report her imprisonment in Isreal when she obtained her U.S. citizenship in 2005. This week the judge ruled that the defense would not be allowed to present any evidence about Odeh’s torture that ended with her coerced confession and conviction by an Israeli military court.
CAIR-Chicago is a member of Odeh’s defense committee, and our volunteers have attended court proceedings, and provided ongoing coverage of the case in the Chicago Monitor.
CAIR-Chicago will be issuing updates on the trial and how to support Odeh.
Read Communications Volunteer Bill Chamber’s coverage of Odeh’s case below.
Verdict Devalues Lives of Arab and Muslim Women
November 12, 2014
USA vs.Rasmea Odeh: Erasing the Palestinian Immigrant Story
October 30, 2014
USA vs. Arab-Americans
October 7, 2014
Detroit Hearing Update
September 3, 2014
Defense Confirms: Rasmea Odeh Targeted for Palestine Activism
August 29, 2014
New Judge, Next Hearing
August 22, 2014
Pro-Israel Judge Refuses to Step Down
August 4, 2014
For ongoing updates on her case, to donate to her legal fund, and to get transportation information for attending her trial in Detroit. Go to the Rasmea Odeh Support site.