Thursday May 13, 2021
| Last update: Wednesday at 10:53 AM

Condemn government threats against supporters of Rasmea Odeh.

Statement by staff |
October 11, 2014
Read more articles in

Fight Back News Service is urging all progressive organizations to sign the following statement. To add your organization to the statement, please email [email protected]

The statement reads in part: “The undersigned organizations support the democratic rights of the Rasmea Defense Committee, the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, the U.S. Palestinian Community Network, and other organizations to organize broad, public support to drop the charges against Rasmea Odeh.”

In a chilling attack on civil liberties, prosecutors in the case of Palestinian American leader Rasmea Odeh filed a motion in Federal Court Oct. 3, which characterized the efforts of the Rasmea Odeh defense campaign, as “jury tampering” and “almost certainly criminal.” The prosecution asked Judge Gershwin Drain for an “Anonymous Jury,” which means that the names of the jurors are kept secret from the defense attorneys, and that an array of security measures are put it place during the trial that make it seem like 67-year-old Rasmea Odeh is a very dangerous person.

Everyone who has ever participated in protest at a courthouse against an unjust legal proceeding or raised their voice in defense of a political prisoner should be alarmed at this turn of events.

There is no evidence at all for the baseless accusations against the movement in support of Rasmea. The prosecutor’s motion is a clumsy attempt at intimidation and it is an attack on all of our civil liberties.

The prosecutor’s talk about jury “tampering” is bizarre and dangerous. Until there is a trial, there is no jury, so how could a jury possibly be tampered with? What the prospection is angry about is protected first amendment activity, such as holding rallies at Detroit’s Federal Court Building and organizing call in days to the Department of Justice.

The prosecutor’s motion states that Hatem Abudayyeh, a leader of the effort to drop the charges against Rasmea Odeh, “has orchestrated a concerted effort to influence the criminal proceedings against defendant, which has resulted, at each proceeding, in a large group outside the Courthouse protesting and parading, carrying signs demanding dismissal of charges and 'Justice for Rasmea' and displaying the Palestinian flag.” Palestinians, Arabs and progressive people are responding to an injustice by holding protests and engaging in activity that is protected by the First Amendment. In the world that the Detroit U.S. Attorney wants, speaking out is “almost certainly criminal.” On the contrary - it is criminal for the prosecutors to attempt to restrict our constitutional rights.

It is worth noting that there is a distinctly racist, anti-Arab undertone to the prosecutor’s motion, where spirited and dignified protests, with a majority of Palestinian American participants, are described as “hordes” and “mobs.” Again, the federal government is trying to sow fear among people in the U.S. by criminalizing and stereotyping Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims.

The undersigned organizations support the democratic rights of the Rasmea Defense Committee, the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, the U.S. Palestinian Community Network, and other organizations to organize broad, public support to drop the charges against Rasmea Odeh.

inspector