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Rasmea Odeh support rally to take place in Detroit

Palestinian American targeted for discriminatory selective prosecution
By staff |
November 12, 2013
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Detroit, MI - The Committee to Stop FBI Repression and United States Palestinian Community Network will gather in Detroit to support Rasmea Odeh, a 65-year-old women's rights activist who faces 10 years in prison and deportation on trumped-up immigration charges.

Rasmea Odeh is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, on Nov.13, for arraignment at 1 pm, and organizers are planning a support rally in front of the courthouse at noon. Odeh was arrested on Oct. 22 at her home in Evergreen Park, a suburb of Chicago, and charged with Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, for allegedly untruthfully answering questions on her immigration application to the U.S. The court hearing is taking place in Detroit because it is her original city of U.S. residence.

A statement by rally organizers says, "The charge brought against her is another example of the escalation of federal law enforcement repression against Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims in this country."

Odeh is a well-known and respected activist in the Palestinian American community of Chicago who has been honored for her social services and women’s empowerment work by the Chicago Cultural Alliance. Scores of organizations across the U.S. rallied to her cause after the arrest, and the media in the Arab world have also covered the news.

Supporters, including members of civil rights groups, faith-based institutions and Arab and Muslim organizations, as well as women's rights activists and civil liberties attorneys, are preparing to gather in Detroit, pack the courtroom and rally in her support. Solidarity activities are also being organized in Oakland, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, Washington D.C. and New York.

“There has been a massive outpouring of love and support for Rasmea across the U.S. and the world,” says Rasmea’s friend and colleague Hatem Abudayyeh. “There is no justification for this political attack on a 65-year-old woman who has dedicated her life to progress and social justice. We will stand with her to fight these charges.”

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