Letter: Unfair indictment must be dismissed
Rasmea Yousef Odeh was 22 years old in 1969 when the Israelis began torturing her, including by sexually abusing and severely beating her. In an incident which epitomizes their savagery, the Israelis attempted to force Odeh’s father to rape her; after he refused, she witnessed her captors beating him into unconsciousness.
On the West Bank the Palestinians are tried in kangaroo courts operated by the Israeli military with a 99.7 percent conviction rate reflecting the complete lack of due process and any semblance of justice. Odeh was charged with being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and part of a team that orchestrated bombings killing two people. She spent 10 years in an Israeli prison, enduring the worst treatment imaginable, before having her sentence commuted through a prisoner exchange. She earned her law degree in Jordan before emigrating to the United States and has been an exemplary citizen. She received an award from the Chicago Cultural Alliance this year for her humanitarian work with immigrant women on issues regarding education, literacy, preventing domestic violence and confronting bigotry against Muslims.
She’s a leader of the Arab American Action Network and a strong advocate for Palestinian freedom, but she is being persecuted by “Homeland Security.” They’re charging her for not disclosing her unjust “conviction” by the Israelis who tortured her prior to entering the country. This indictment deserves to be dismissed.
JOHN S. HANCOCK