07 November 2013

Palestinian activist wrongly arrested for US immigration fraud (and how you can help)

A Palestinian-American activist was arrested last month for immigration fraud, in what appears to be a misinterpretation or overreach by the Department of Homeland Security.

Here is a summary of her case, via the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), followed by a link to a petition on her behalf:

"Sixty-six year old Rasmea Odeh is a Palestinian-American feminist, activist, educator and community leader who has served as the Associate Director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) in Chicago since 2004. On October 22, Rasmea was arrested by the Department of Homeland Security and charged with immigration fraud. [...] Rasmea's hearing is scheduled for Nov 13. [...]

"Allegedly, in her application to enter the United States, Rasmea didn't mention that she had been arrested in Palestine by an Israeli military court. Apparently she was held in Administrative Detention by Israel 45 years ago for at least six months, without charges, a hearing, or a trial. The question on the form she had to fill out is generally interpreted to mean 'Have you ever been convicted of a crime and spent time in prison for that offense?' Her supporters say without a trial, there can be no conviction, and therefore she did not falsify her application."

How you can help:

An online petition calls for the charges against Rasmea Odeh to be dropped.

>> Read and sign the petition here.

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