‘Israel’ rejects appeal to release Ahmad Manasra despite serious health condition

Palestinian child Ahmad Manasra was arrested on October 12, 2015 when he was 13 years old by Israeli occupation

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- An Israeli occupation court rejected on Tuesday a request for the early release of 20-year-old Palestinian detainee Ahmad Manasra, despite his serious mental and physical condition.

Yesterday, despite the deteriorating mental and physical condition of the child detainee Ahmad Manasra, the Committee for Early Releases refused to listen to the pleadings of the defense team nor to discuss their request to release Manasra, claiming that his file was classified under the “terrorism law”.

Manasra’s defense team had submitted an appeal to consider his case, as he has developed serious mental health problems since his arrest as a child seven years ago when he was 13 years old.

On June 22, the Israeli occupation prison authorities have decided to classify the case against Manasara under “terrorism law,” refusing calls for parole that would release him from prison.

Khaled al-Zabarqa, a Palestinian lawyer in Manasra’s legal defence team, said that day that the Israeli decision is legally and constitutionally “wrong”.

“It is a clear violation of the legal and constitutional foundations of the local and international legal system, especially the legal system related to children and minors,” Zabarqa said.

Who is Ahmad Manasra?

Ahmad Manasra was born in 2002 in Beit Hanina in occupied Jerusalem.

Manasra was arrested on October 12, 2015 when he was 13 years old and was subjected to severe harassment during his interrogation by Israeli officers. He is serving a 12-year term in jail, later reduced to 9.

A month after Ahmad Manasra’s arrest in November 2015, footage of his interrogation was made public. The 10-minute video shows Ahmad being interrogated by three Israeli officers, without the presence of his lawyer or parent in violation of international standards, sparking outrage from human rights groups.

He appears increasingly distressed as his interrogators continue to shout at him, directing insults and threats.

In 2016, an Israeli court falsely convicted him of carrying out an alleged attack in the illegal settlement of Psgat Zeev in occupied Jerusalem, with his cousin Hassan Manasra, who was shot by Israeli forces on that day. Ahmed was shot and wounded.

He has been in prison ever since, and in solitary confinement since early November 2021. Ahmad has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, is suffering from psychotic delusions, and is severely depressed with suicidal thoughts, Ahmad Manasra’s parents said in February 2022.

On June 13, he was moved to the Ramleh prison clinic in central 1948-occupied Palestine due to his deteriorating mental state.

“Ahmad Manasra has been subjected to a catalogue of injustices by the Israeli authorities, including deleterious effects of incarceration on his development and prolonged solitary confinement. He endured ill-treatment during interrogations, which were conducted without his parents or lawyers’ presence, and was denied the right to a fair trial. He should have been released a long time ago, yet he remains in unnecessary suffering in Israeli prisons,” said Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Pending his release from detention, he must be given access to adequate medical care and never be placed in solitary confinement again. Allegations of torture and other human rights violations that Ahmad has suffered must be effectively and transparently investigated.”

The Israel Prison Service asked to renew Ahmad’s solitary confinement for a further six months on 17 April 2022. A hearing that was scheduled to be held on 15 June 2022 with regards to his solitary confinement was postponed to a later date.

Ahmad Manasra’s mental health worsened during his incarceration. In October 2021, an independent Israeli clinical psychologist working with Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHRI) diagnosed him with severe psychiatric conditions, and stated these had developed since his incarceration.

His lawyer, Khaled Zabarqa, told Amnesty International: “We have asked the Israel Prison Service to release Ahmad into home and community care as a matter of urgency because there is a real danger to his life. The prison doctors themselves recognized as much in their report on 13 June which led to his transfer from the prison cell to the prison hospital.”

Behind Israeli Bars: Sick and imprisoned

There are currently 4,700 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, including 32 women and 170 children, according to Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer.

Of those, more than 600 Palestinian detainees suffer from a wide range of illnesses and lack of access to proper medical care, 200 of them have been diagnosed with chronic diseases, including 22 who have been diagnosed with cancer, Al-Haq, an independent Palestinian human rights organisation has recently said.

(Source / 30.06.2022)

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