Decision in Rasmea Odeh appeal a partial victory

Rasmea Defense Committee
February 25th, 2016

Media contact: Hatem Abudayyeh, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 773.301.4108

Decision in Rasmea Odeh appeal a partial victory

This morning, a ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals represents a partial victory in the case of Rasmea Odeh, the legendary Palestinian American icon who was convicted of a politically motivated immigration charge in 2014, and sentenced to 18 months in prison and deportation last year.

Organizers with the Rasmea Defense Committee, which represents over 50 institutions across the country, have been waiting for a decision in the appeal since last October, and are pleased with the result.

"This isn't a full victory yet, of course," said Nesreen Hasan of the committee's headquarters in Chicago, "but it really is what we were hoping for and anticipating at this stage. The conviction wasn't overturned altogether, but at least Judge Drain will be forced to rethink his decision on the torture evidence."

The appeals court determined that Gershwin Drain, the trial judge who sentenced Rasmea, wrongfully barred expert torture witness, Dr. Mary Fabri, from testifying at the trial.  According to lead attorney Michael Deutsch, "The case will be remanded [back to Drain] for a determination as to the admissibility of the expert testimony.  The appellate court has essentially ruled that it was an error for Drain to have precluded that testimony."

We are hopeful that Rasmea's full story will be told, and that she will ultimately be exonerated of all charges.

A more full press release will follow shortly, but contact spokesperson Hatem Abudayyeh for comment or for access to Deutsch.
And continue to donate to support the defense work!
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Wells Fargo Complicit in Private Prison Industry: City of Portland Committee Recommends Divestment


Wells Fargo Complicit in Private Prison Industry: City of Portland Committee Recommends Divestment

February 22, 2016
Contact: Amanda Aguilar Shank of Enlace, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 503-660-8744

After several months of deliberation and community input, today the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) committee voted unanimously to recommend that the City of Portland divest of their holdings in Wells Fargo & Company due to the company’s financing of for-profit incarceration, and their “morally bankrupt” lending practices.

Paulino Ruiz of Woodburn spoke at today’s SRI committee meeting about his two years in immigrant detention, and his role is catalyzing hunger strikes at the GEO Group owned Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. He said, “I was retaliated against for [the hunger strike]... I had no access to my attorney, my case information, or family support... Just during my detention, prisons and investors like Wells Fargo made over $100,000 that could have been spent doing good for the community instead.”

This decision marks the first time that a public body has voted for divestment from Wells Fargo due to their complicity in the prison industry. This comes on the heels of recent prison divestment by Columbia University and the University of California, and pledges by Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders to outlaw private incarceration.

“We are thrilled that the committee made the right decision today. Our Black, Latino and immigrant communities have suffered enough from incarceration,” said Mary Mendez of Enlace, the Portland- based organization that is convener of the national Prison Divestment Campaign. “Divestment from private prisons is part of a larger movement to end mass incarceration and immigrant detention.”

“Today’s decision indicates that it is time to take the profit motive out of incarceration,” said Kayse Jama, Director of the Center for Intercultural Organizing and coalition partner of the Portland Prison Divestment Campaign. “Private prison corporations and their financial backers like Wells Fargo should not be profiting from incarceration, and should not be allowed to lobby on criminal justice and immigration policy, because their motivation is to put more and more people behind bars.”

Read more: Wells Fargo Complicit in Private Prison Industry: City of Portland Committee Recommends Divestment

Jeff Halper: War Against the People

Jeff Halper Israeli Peace and Human Rights Activist

Tuesday Feb. 23 at 7:00PM

First United Methodist Church (Collins Hall)
1838 SW Jefferson Portland

Event is Free and open to the Public.

Jeff Halper is an Israeli peace and human rights activist, co-founder of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Nobel Peace Prize nominee (2006), author and lecturer.

Event is Free—donations accepted. Jeff Halper’s new book will be for sale.

“Jeff Halper's book, like his life's work, is an inspiration. Drawing on his many years of directly challenging Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, he offers one of the most insightful analyses of the occupation I've read. His voice cries out to be heard.”
 Jonathan Cook

Co-sponsored by: Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, Friends of Sabeel North America, Hummus Collective—Reed College`, Jewish Voice for Peace-PDX, KBOO Community Radio, Kairos USA, Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land, Occupation-Free Portland, Oregon-Idaho United Methodist Conference Holy Land Task Force, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights-PS

Get your Flyer HERE!

The Fading Two-State Solution

.....Speaking at a security conference, Mr. Shapiro said, correctly, that Israel’s quick-moving expansion of settlements on Palestinian lands “raises honest questions about Israel’s long-term intentions” and commitment to a two-state solution. What really enraged his critics was an observation that during a time of increased violence in Israel and the West Bank, “Too many attacks on Palestinians lack a vigorous investigation or response by Israeli authorities, too much vigilantism goes unchecked, and at times there seem to be two standards of adherence to the rule of law: one for Israelis and another for Palestinians.” A statement from Mr. Netanyahu’s office denounced the second comment as “unacceptable and incorrect.”

Read more: The Fading Two-State Solution

Demand Airbnb Stop Listing Rentals in Israeli Settlements

Demand Airbnb Stop Listing Rentals in Israeli Settlements  

Did you know that Airbnb, the online accommodation service, is listing homes in illegal Israeli settlements for people to rent?

There are 13,000 Airbnb listings in Israel, but investigations have proven that many of the properties are actually located in settlements built on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Sign the joint petition from USPCN, American Muslims for Palestine, CODEPINK: Women for Peace, Jewish Voice for Peace, and US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation--demand that Airbnb Say No to Stolen Homes!

This campaign is especially timely following the recent release of a Human Rights Watch report that called on businesses to comply with their human rights responsibilities by discontinuing to  operate in, finance, service, or trade with Israeli settlements.

By allowing users to list and rent these properties and taking 9-15% from hosts and guests, Airbnb is profiting off of Israel’s colonization and continued military occupation of Palestinian land, and supporting settlement activity.

Please take action, and demand that Airbnb end its complicity in Israel's colonization of Palestinian land!

Thank you,


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