Ahmad Manasra’s waking nightmare continues: traumatized, tried as an adult at age 14, convicted of attempted murder in spite of the evidence, and sentenced to 12 years in prison (later reduced to 9 1/2 years). He has been in solitary confinement since November 2021, and Israeli courts just extended his isolation for another 6 months – though he suffers from schizophrenia.
reposted from IMEMC – the International Middle East Media Center, March 14, 2023
An Israeli court today extended the isolation of Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails Ahmad Manasra, who was arrested at age 13 after being involved in a stabbing attack against Israelis in Jerusalem, despite his critical mental condition, according to attorney Khaled Zabarqa.
He said the court decided to keep Manasra, 21, in isolation for a period of six more months. [NOTE: read more about Israel’s use of solitary confinement against children here.]
Manasra was 13 years old when he was first arrested following a stabbing attack in Jerusalem. He was ill-treated during the early years of his detention to the point he was later diagnosed with schizophrenia.
A group of 36 psychologists has appealed to the Israeli president to pardon Manasra due to his mental health.
In May 2016, IMEMC reported on Ahmad Manasra’s conviction:
A Palestinian child, Ahmad Manasra, 14, was convicted Tuesday of two counts of attempted murder, despite a lack of evidence, a video showing him being severely beaten and insulted by a crowd shouting racial slurs, and video showing Israeli interrogators brutalizing and intimidating the crying child with no family member or lawyer present.
Manasra was 13 at the time of his arrest, and the Israeli court decided to allow the prosecution’s request to delay his court hearing until January, when he turned 14 and was allowed, under Israeli law, to be tried as an adult. The Israeli Knesset used Manasra’s case as an example when they voted several months ago to change the age at which a Palestinian child can be tried as an adult from 14 to 12.
Israeli children, in contrast, are considered ‘minors’ until the age of 18.
The child in this case, Ahmad Manasra, was severely beaten, hit by a car, and repeatedly kicked and punched in the head by an angry Israeli mob who believed that he had participated in a stabbing in which a 13-year old Israeli boy was wounded.
However, Manasra and his lawyers contend that he had nothing to do with the stabbing, which was carried out by Manasra’s 15-year old cousin, who was killed at the scene of the attack.
A video posted online shows a group of men attacking Manasra (no longer available), cursing and using anti-Arab epithets against the boy.