Ahmad Manasra: EU calls for immediate release of Palestinian detained by Israel as 13-year-old

Ahmad Manasra: EU calls for immediate release of Palestinian detained by Israel as 13-year-old
2 min read
24 August, 2022
The EU representative to the West Bank and Gaza met with the family of Ahmad Manasra, who has spent eight years in Israeli jails after being detained as a 13-year-old child.
Ahmad Manasra is being held in solitary confinement by Israel [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency/Getty-archive]

The European Union called on Tuesday for the immediate release of Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Manasra, who was detained by Israel as a 13-year-old child in 2015.

Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, the EU representative to the West Bank and Gaza, met with the family of Manasra, who is now 21, the EU Delegation to the Palestinians tweeted.

"Alarmed that he's been in solitary confinement since November 2021 despite serious mental health problems. Ahmad should immediately be released to receive necessary mental health care and counselling," the tweet read.

Manasra's solitary confinement was extended until November 2022 by an Israeli court earlier this month, though his lawyer said he would appeal.

Manasra's mental health issues include a diagnosis for schizophrenia.

The EU delegation said that as a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Israel "has an obligation to uphold its commitments to the human rights and protection of children".

It added that this includes "guaranteeing children fair trials and proportionate sentences in line with international standards under the child justice system".

Manasra was initially handed a 12-year jail term as a 14-year-old in 2016, though this was later reduced to nine years and five months.

Israeli police ran over him with a car and settlers attacked him before he was arrested.

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He was detained in connection with the stabbing and wounding of two Israelis in an illegal settlement in occupied East Jerusalem, Amnesty International said in June.

Amnesty said Manasra was found guilty of attempted murder in "proceedings marred by allegations of torture", even though the court found Manasra did not participate in the stabbings.

UN human rights experts in July noted that he was under the age of criminal responsibility at the time of the alleged offence.

Both the UN experts and Amnesty called for Manasra to be released.

A Change.org petition launched by the Palestine-Global Mental Health Network demanding his freedom has gained over 432,000 signatures.