February 26, Chicago: A Woman’s Intifada – The Story of Rasmea Odeh

A Woman’s Intifada: The Story of Rasmea Odeh
Thursday, February 26
6:30 pm
Loyola University Chicago – Damen MPR North
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1396594390649928/

Nesreen Hasan, an integral member of Rasmea Odeh’s defense committee, will be joining the Middle Eastern Student Association at Loyola University Chicago on Thursday, February 26 at 6:30 pm to discuss the trial of Rasmea Odeh, and overall FBI repression on the Arab community in Chicago.

The event is located at Loyola’s Damen Student Center 6511 N Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL in the Multi-Purpose Room, which is located on the second floor.

Rasmea Odeh is a 67-year-old Palestinian community leader who has worked with the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) on the southside of Chicago since 2004. Rasmea is currently the associate director of the AAAN. She also established the Arab Women’s Committee that has helped hundreds of immigrant women assimilate into the United States. She is a strong beloved leader in her community and has been an icon in Arab-American history in Chicago.

On October 22nd, 2013, Rasmea was arrested on charges of falsifying immigration information. She was indicted in federal court that same morning, charged with Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, an allegation based on answers she gave on a 20-year-old immigration application. In particular, she was charged because she answered “no” when asked if she had ever been arrested or convicted.

Rasmea was arrested by the Israeli government for a crime that she did not commit. Rasmea was arrested during a mass arrest of hundreds of Palestinians. She was forced to confess to this allegation after enduring 25 days of rape and torture at an Israeli interrogation center. Rasmea was put on trial in an Israeli military court, in which the conviction rate for Palestinians is over 99%. Despite her lifetime prison sentence, she was released after ten years in a prisoner exchange. Rasmea eventually moved to the US and became an active citizen and member of the community. Many years later, Rasmea was put on trial once again in a Detroit federal court.

In November of 2014, Rasmea was found guilty by a jury in Detroit of her immigration charge. Rasmea was portrayed to the jury by the prosecution as a terrorist. Rasmea’s conviction in 1969 was discussed, but evidence and discussion of her rape and torture experience was not allowed in court. 90% of the defense’s case was not allowed to be presented because of the judge’s decision.

After Rasmea was found guilty, she was immediately arrested and imprisoned, including time in solitary confinement, before being released in December on a $50,000 cash bond.