In Case of Palestinian American, Prosecutors Criminalize Political Activity and Create ‘Prejudicial Atmosphere’
A lawyer representing Palestinian American Rasmea Odeh, who is accused of immigration fraud, says the United States government’s request for an “anonymous jury” in the case and the partial sequestration of jurors is all a part of prosecutors’ efforts to create a prejudicial and fearful atmosphere.
Odeh is a 67-years-old and the associate director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) in Chicago. Forty-five years ago, she was arrested and subjected to torture by Israeli security forces. She maintained she was innocent when she was brought before a military tribunal and accused of being involved in terrorism. Israel convicted her and she was sentenced to prison.
She came to the US in 1994 and was allowed into the country without a problem. In 2004, she obtained her citizenship without any issue. Yet, on October 22, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security suddenly had her arrested.
The federal government accused Odeh of neglecting to disclose on naturalization forms that she had been imprisoned by Israelis in Palestine for terrorism-related offenses. She now faces up to ten years in prison if convicted and immediate deportation after her release.
Her prosecution has slowly developed into a high-profile political case.