December 5, 2014

Demand that Sheriff Release Rasmea from Solitary Confinement

 We just learned that Rasmea has been in solitary confinement for the past 12 days, arbitrarily punished by her jailers at the St. Clair County Jail in Port Huron, Michigan.  She is not allowed any contact with other prisoners.  Confined to her cell all day, except at midnight for a few short minutes, Rasmea can’t make phone calls and can’t receive visitors.  This isolation punishment was initially set for 6 days, but when she had expected to go back to general population, it has been extended two days at a time, without explanation.

We have grave concerns about Rasmea’s well-being.  She has not been eating well, due to on-going dental pain as well as other health issues exacerbated by the conditions of solitary confinement. 

Today, please call the office of St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon at (810) 987-1700 [choose option 0], tell him you are calling about Rasmieh [sic] Odeh (inmate #144979), and ask that he release her from solitary confinement immediately. 

And, you can go here and post the following webform message:

“I am writing out of concern for the health and well-being of Rasmieh Odeh, inmate #144979.  I urge you to take immediate action to end her solitary confinement.” 

In addition, we are still waiting for Judge Drain to rule on the motion to release Rasmea from jail. While she struggles in the horrible conditions described above, prosecutor Jonathan Tukel is maneuvering to delay the judge’s decision on her release.  After the defense motion was filed, an amicus (or “friend-of-the-court”) brief was submitted by the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), supporting the defense and urging Rasmea’s release. 

Typically, a judge would simply decide on their own whether or not to accept an amicus brief, but in this case, Judge Drain has agreed to a request by Tukel for time to submit his own motion to exclude NLG the brief. This government obstructionism is a callous and shameful tactic, and another example of Tukel and U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade’s disdain for fairness in Rasmea’s case.