Israel extends solitary confinement of Ahmad Manasra in spite of mental illness

Israel extends solitary confinement of Ahmad Manasra in spite of mental illness

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.

IMEMC reported in November 2015 about Ahmad Manasra’s abusive interrogation:

This controversial video shows clips of the interrogation of 13-year-old Palestinian child, Ahmad Manasra, as Israeli occupation detectives curse and verbally abuse Manasra, in questioning him about the incident and his alleged motives.The time of which the footage was recorded is not known.

On Oct. 30, Israel’s Jerusalem District Court indicted 13-year-old Manasra on charges of attempted murder following an attack on two Israelis settlers, according to Israeli media.

The event took place on Oct. 12, in Jerusalem.

In the video, one interrogator repeatedly shouts at Manasra, in Arabic, to ‘shut up’, as Manansra continuously pleads for the officer to believe that he cannot remember anything about the incident (view video here – warning: violent content).

The officer is then seen questioning the boy about a phone call with his lawyer, and then tells him that he is accused of the attempted murder of ‘two Zionist Jews’, and that Manasra had supported ‘the enemy in time of war’, which Manasra does not seem to understand.

The interrogator is next recorded showing Ahmad Manasra a video of the attack, shouting questions at him about details of the incident. Manasra starts to cry as he says that he ‘doesn’t know’ and ‘cannot remember,’ pleading with the officer to ‘take me to the doctor to check me,’ all while hitting himself on the head.

Manasra continues to say that ‘he cannot remember anything,’ begging the detective to believe him, and adds that he ‘woke up the next day not knowing what had happened to me.’

The detective continuously calls Manasra a ‘liar’.

Another interrogator joins the first, as he continues to ask him about his motives, Ahmad Mansara finally says, ‘Everything you’re saying is correct, I cannot remember. From what I’ve seen on the camera [of the original incident] it’s 100 percent correct, but I cannot remember anything.’

The two interrogators are seen smiling as they discuss details of whether he was holding the knife up or down. Manasra tells the investigator, ‘you’ve been asking me about it all along and you don’t know if the knife was held up or not.’

The second interrogator starts shouting at Manasra and asking him about his motives. Manasra starts to cry, saying that he has ‘forgotten,’ again begging the men to ‘take me to a doctor to see if I remember.’

During the attack, Ahmad’s 15-year-old cousin, Hassan, was shot dead on site by Israeli occupation forces, while Ahmad was knocked over by an Israeli settler car and seriously wounded.

A video of Ahmad lying injured and bloody on the ground after being hit by the car was uploaded to social media and went viral. In the footage, a settler onlooker can clearly be heard saying: ‘Die, you son of a wh***! Die!’, while another tells the police officer to shoot him until he dies.



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