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Tampa activists will mobilize for Rasmea Odeh appeal

By Jessica Schwartz |
June 13, 2015
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Getting ready to write letters to  Khalida Jarrar.
Getting ready to write letters to Khalida Jarrar. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
 Activists watching as Rasmea Odeh speaks.
Activists watching as Rasmea Odeh speaks.

Tampa, FL - Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh and her defense attorney Michael Deutsch spoke to activists here by live stream video, June 11. Deutsch explained Odeh’s case and upcoming legal appeal, with audience members asking questions. Florida activists plan to mobilize and attend the appeal hearing in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the fall.

Odeh was found guilty on minor immigration charges in an unfair trial concerning a 20-year-old immigration application. Outrageously, she was sentenced to 18 months in prison and deportation.

According to attorney Deutsch, the appeal was based on several grounds. Deutsch’s main argument is that Judge Drain did not allow Rasmea Odeh a full defense. Odeh was prohibited from discussing her torture in an Israeli military prison and the resulting post-traumatic stress disorder that still affects her today. Expert testimony was also denied.

Deutsch is calling for a reversal of Odeh’s conviction and sentencing. He is also urging people to mobilize in solidarity.

“What people can do to help is write letters, inform and fundraise,” said Deutsch.

After the live stream, attendees wrote letters to Khaldia Jarrar, a Palestinian feminist, lawyer and member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who is currently a political prisoner.

The Tampa chapter of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression organized the event. Members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Raices en Tampa, and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of South Florida attended.