Next phase in Rasmea Odeh’s appeals process
Palestinian-American community organizer Rasmea Odeh’s appeal was held on Wednesday at the U.S Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati, Ohio. Odeh’s Defense Committee organized a rally outside of the courthouse at that morning. Following the rally, the Defense Committee and supporters filled the courtroom for her appeal.
In March, Odeh was stripped of her U.S. citizenship, fined $1,000, sentenced to 18 months in prison and pending her appeal will be deported to Jordan for failing to disclose her conviction by an Israeli military court (which convict 99% of Palestinians who enter them) on her immigration and naturalization documents.
Her trial was riddled with bias and inconsistencies. The Judge did not allow her to testify about her Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which was caused by the torture and sexual abuse she experienced while in Israeli custody. He also disallowed her selective prosecution motion, that prosecution was based on her political beliefs not on the alleged crime, despite the fact that the case against her grew out of the investigation of 23 anti-war and Palestine activists who were subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in 2010.
In June, Odeh’s defense filed a brief for appeal stating that “For a jury to fairly evaluate Ms. Odeh’s testimony that she believed the questions only referred to her history in the U.S., and that she blocked out any thought of her history under Israeli military occupation, requires an explanation of how her chronic condition could have affected her thinking, so the Jury could fairly decide whether or not her defense was believable”.
On Wednesday, the defense had the opportunity to present an oral argument in favor of a new trial. Two to six months later a decision will be made by the appellate judges to either uphold her sentence, reduce it or give Rasmea a new trial.
Organizers and community members from Chicago took a bus to Cincinnati to support Rasmea Odeh. Her Defense Committee is still fundraising for her appeal, you can donate to support Rasmea here.