A statement by the Rasmea Defense Committee:
WHEN: Thursday, August 17th, 2017, at 1:30 PM Eastern Time (rally at 1:30 PM, hearing starts at 3:00 PM)
WHERE: U.S. District Court, 231 W. Lafayette Blvd., downtown Detroit, Michigan
Today, August 17th, Palestinian American icon Rasmea Odeh will appear for the final time in a Detroit courtroom, for what would normally be a routine sentencing hearing. The sentence has already been agreed upon by both the defense and the prosecution, as well as by Judge Gershwin Drain, but since Rasmea will be making a public statement to the court, the hearing will nonetheless attract hundreds of her supporters from all across the Midwest, according to the Rasmea Defense Committee.
In March, rather than risk 18 months or more of imprisonment, and the possibility of indefinite detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Rasmea pled guilty to Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, which came with it the loss of her U.S. citizenship and her forced departure from the country. She will exit the U.S. without serving any more time in prison or ICE detention, a victory for her defense committee and legal team, considering the government’s sought after sentence of 5-7 years.
“No matter where Rasmea lands,” said Nesreen Hasan of the defense committee, “we know she will continue working and organizing to uphold the rights of her people.
“This hearing is extremely important because we are all looking forward to hear what she has to say, and because it will be the final court appearance in a long battle against the U.S. government. The case against her was never about immigration; it was always about attacking the Palestine liberation movement. Rasmea and the defense fought the good fight.”
The exact date of Rasmea’s departure may be made known sometime soon after the sentencing hearing.
Many traveling to Detroit were also in attendance this past Saturday, when a standing room only crowd of 1,200 people, including Dr. Angela Davis, honored Rasmea in Chicago.
Rasmea Defense Committee is led by U.S. Palestinian Community Network and Committee to Stop FBI Repression.