Palestinian-American Activist Stripped of Citizenship, Deported

Palestinian Activist Rasmea Odeh. (Photo: via teleSUR, file)

Seventy-year-old Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh has had her US citizenship revoked yesterday after failing to disclose convictions for bombings in Jerusalem decades ago.

US District Judge Gershwin Drain yesterday sentenced Odeh to time served, given the 33 days she spent in jail in 2014, a fine of $1,000 and a deportation order to Jordan.

Odeh, who is known for her work with Arab women in the Chicago area, denied that she was a terrorist and condemned the continued occupation of Palestine and the numerous Israeli violations of international law, which she said legitimized Palestinian resistance movements.

“I’m standing today to raise my voice on behalf of myself as a Palestinian woman and on behalf of all Palestinians whether in refugee camps or scattered across the world,” she stated.

The associate director of the Arab American Action Network also recounted her treatment while in prison for ten years in Israel.

“They tortured me, they raped me, they destroyed my house.” she told the court.

Over 100 of Odeh’s supporters gathered outside the Detroit court to support her at end of her four year legal battle. Some 1,200 people also attended an event bidding her farewell, including representatives from over 50 community organizations.

Odeh was initially charged with immigration fraud for failing to reveal her convictions of terrorism handed down in 1970 by an Israeli military court. However the prosecution later expanded the list of offenses to include membership of a “terrorist” group. Odeh denies all charges and claims she was tortured into confessing by Israeli soldiers.

Odeh’s attorney Michael Deutsch said that whilst the defence had failed to keep her in the country, they had succeeded in raising awareness of the Palestinian cause.

“We were able to bring out in the federal court and the public that the Israeli government systematically tortures political people, and that Rasmea was tortured and suffers from post-traumatic stress as a result of that torture.”

“We were also able to show that the sham [Israeli] military tribunals that convict 99.4 percent of the Palestinians that go before them is a sham and is illegal under international law,” he added.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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