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Arab activist freed awaiting immigration sentence

Friday, 12 December 2014

DETROIT (AP)-- A Chicago-area Arab community activist has been released from a Michigan jail to await her sentence for failing to tell U.S. immigration officials about her conviction for bombings that killed two people in Israel in 1969.

Rasmieh Odeh of Evergreen Park paid a $50,000 bond and was released Thursday, about five weeks after her conviction in Detroit federal court. U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain says he no longer believes she might flee the country.

Odeh's sentencing is March 12.

The 67-year-old runs daily operations at Chicago's Arab American Action Network.

A jury last month convicted Odeh of failing to disclose her conviction for bombings in Jerusalem when she applied for citizenship in Detroit in 2004. She says she believed the questions about criminal history were limited only to the U.S.

Odeh faces likely deportation after any prison sentence.

She and her many allies are outspoken supporters of Palestinians in Israel. She spent a decade in an Israeli prison after being convicted in a series of bombings, including one that killed two Hebrew University students at a supermarket. Odeh has said she was tortured into confessing to the crimes.

Israel released her in 1979 as part of a prisoner exchange with the Popular Front for theLiberation of Palestine, the group behind the bombings. Odeh entered the U.S. in 1995.

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