Israeli court postpones ruling on Ahmad Manasra's isolation
Israeli court, at a hearing on Wednesday, postponed its final ruling on ending the solitary confinement of Palestinian prisoner Ahmed Manasra.
Manasra, arrested in 2015 at 13 years old, was diagnosed with psychological damage due to his detention conditions and growing up in prison.
The 21-year-old Palestinian has been kept in solitary confinement at the Ramleh prison clinic's psychiatric section for more than a month.
His lawyer, Khaled Zabarqah, filed a request to return Manasra to the collective detention facilities with other inmates.
An Israeli court has postponed the session of Ahmed Manasra that was supposed to be held today regarding his possible transfer from his solitary confinement to the general department in the jail until 16 August.#FreeAhmadManasra pic.twitter.com/X2O1mq5svO— PALESTINE ONLINE 🇵🇸 (@OnlinePalEng) July 20, 2022
"The Israeli prison service claims that Ahmed is a danger to his own safety and that he must remain under the direct supervision of the prison medical staff, isolated," Zabarqah told The New Arab.
"We filed the request to end his confinement based on the argument that his isolation harms his condition even further," said Zabrqah. "Ahmed is not ill due to his own psychologic difficulties, but because of the trauma he has been going through since his arrest. Isolating him will only increase that effect."
"What Ahmed needs is not isolation, but immediate release, return to his family environment and specialized treatment," he added. "The court decided to give two additional weeks to study the case, before a final ruling."
Ahmad Manasra was only 13 when he was detained. Today he is 20. He celebrated 7 birthdays away from his family, and turned from being a child to an adult in an Israeli jail. Manasra currently suffers serious mental health conditions.#FreeAhmadManasrapic.twitter.com/VlmVB47Oai— Maha Hussaini (@MahaGaza) July 15, 2022
Yoaad Ghanadry, head of the Palestinian Mental Health Network, who follows Manasra's case, previously told The New Arab that he "suffers from the impact of his violent arrest and wound, including a severe blow on his head and delay of medical attention."
"Ahmed's condition is aggravated by the fact he grew up with these traumas as a child into adulthood, in harsh detention conditions, including repeated solitary confinement," said Ghanadry.
Manasra was arrested in 2015 in Jerusalem after his 17-year-old cousin was shot dead by the Israeli police. Charged with assisting his cousin in an attempt to stab an Israeli, he was sentenced to 12 years, later lowered to nine.
In an affidavit given to a lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Affairs Commission after his arrest in October 2015, Manasra said that he was chased down and run over by an Israeli police vehicle.
According to the affidavit, Manasra said that when he tried to escape, he was attacked by Israeli settlers who beat him repeatedly on his head with a club. In a video that went viral at the time, Manasra is shown lying on the ground, bleeding from his head, surrounded by Israelis who hurled insults at him.
UN human rights experts today urged the Government of Israel to immediately release Ahmad Manasra, a 20-year-old detained in Israeli prisons since he was 14 years old, while suffering serious mental health conditions.@FranceskAlbs @NiAolainF @drtlaleng https://t.co/jkmqdQRBbo pic.twitter.com/E3MXuD5XOD— Ramy Abdu| رامي عبده (@RamAbdu) July 15, 2022
In April, Manasra's lawyer filed a request for early release based on his psychological condition and the fact that he had served more than two-thirds of the sentence.
The Israeli court transferred the case to a special committee to decide whether to drop "terrorist" charges in his case, given his age at the time of the events and the fact that he was never charged with stabbing.
In June, the committee decided to reinstate the "terrorism" charges on Manasra, and his early release was refused. His lawyer said that he and his team are preparing to appeal the decision soon.