[Pnews] Rasmea Odeh’s prosecutors deny the horror of torture; Judge Drain accepts their argument

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Aug 31 10:14:41 EDT 2016


*August 30, 2016
*

*Media Contact:* Hatem Abudayyeh, hatem85 at yahoo.com 
<mailto:hatem85 at yahoo.com>

*Rasmea’s prosecutors deny the horror of torture; Judge Drain accepts 
their argument*

Rasmea Odeh, a survivor of vicious torture at the hands of the Israeli 
military, will be compelled to undergo hours of psychological evaluation 
by a government forensic examiner, according to a ruling by Federal 
Judge Gershwin Drain.  Drain *cancelled a September 22 hearing on the 
matter* in Detroit, where supporters from across the Midwest had planned 
to join Rasmea.

The 69-year-old Rasmea is a legend in the Palestine national movement. 
In Drain’s courtroom in 2014, she was convicted of a 
politically-motivated immigration charge, and in 2015, sentenced to 18 
months in prison and deportation. Rasmea appealed the decision, arguing 
that Drain had denied her defense the right to make its case.

In February of this year, in a major legal victory 
<http://uspcn.us8.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=0ce8bf015c0d49d11d99fdefb&id=633e99fef7&e=631aca744d>, 
the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that Drain was wrong when he 
refused to allow defense attorneys to present evidence that Rasmea 
suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The PTSD caused her 
to misunderstand the questions about the unlawful conviction and 
imprisonment she suffered under the Israeli occupation. At the trial, 
Rasmea was not allowed to tell the story of Israel forcing her to 
falsely confess to alleged bombings in 1969, when she endured over three 
weeks of brutal sexual, physical, and psychological torture 
<http://uspcn.us8.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=0ce8bf015c0d49d11d99fdefb&id=7d3d144902&e=631aca744d> 
at the hands of the Israeli military.

The appeals court sent the case back to Drain for an evidentiary 
/Daubert/ hearing, where the government will challenge the validity and 
admissibility of testimony by torture expert and clinical psychologist, 
Dr. Mary Fabri.  With Drain’s latest decision 
<http://uspcn.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0ce8bf015c0d49d11d99fdefb&id=60809e59bc&e=631aca744d>, 
issued yesterday, Rasmea will be subjected to as many as six sessions 
(up to 18 hours) of interrogation by a government expert seeking to 
support its claim that Fabri’s testimony should still be excluded.

By forcing Rasmea to meet with a government expert whose job it is to 
discredit her, she faces the real possibility of being re-traumatized by 
the horrible experiences of her torture. The government is clearly using 
legal maneuvers to convolute a medical diagnosis by a world-renowned 
mental health professional, and Drain is allowing it.

In his decision, Drain rejected the defense argument that it is harmful 
to Rasmea’s mental health to be forced to repeatedly discuss the rape 
and torture she suffered.  He sided with the prosecution, claiming that 
Rasmea had discussed the torture on “numerous occasions” … “in the media 
and elsewhere.”

Lead defense attorney Michael Deutsch responded today: “That is just not 
true.  While Rasmea has become the most famous target of a political 
trial in the U.S. today, she has always avoided discussion of the crimes 
committed against her in that Israeli prison in 1969. The government 
case against Rasmea is based on the word of her Israeli captors, and yet 
at every turn, Judge Drain has denied her defense the right to challenge 
those statements in his courtroom. Once again, his latest decision 
favors the prosecution’s endless attempts to cover up the crimes of 
Israel against Rasmea.”

The hearing on the challenge to Fabri’s expert testimony is set for 
November 29, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian 
People. Rasmea’s supporters are already making plans to stand with her 
in Detroit that day, and they continue to educate the public on Israel’s 
crimes and this specific case, as well as raise money 
<http://uspcn.us8.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=0ce8bf015c0d49d11d99fdefb&id=2a9ff51730&e=631aca744d> 
for the defense.

-- 
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