Ahmad Manasra’s psychological health in real danger, warns defence team

Palestinian Ahmed Manasra is seen during his hearing in Be'er Sheva-Bir al-Saba, Israel on April 13, 2022 (Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  June 17, 2022

Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Manasra failed to communicate with his lawyer who visited him today to examine his psychological health condition at Ramla Prison Hospital.

According to Wafa news agency, lawyer Khaled Zabarka said that 21-year-old Manasra did not communicate visually or verbally and displayed serious signs of illness and general exhaustion.

Moreover, traces of wounds appeared along the left side of his arm down to his wrist, as well as on his right arm.

The psychological team following Manasra’s case with the defence team expressed concern regarding his psychological state due to the violence, isolation and oppression he is subjected to in Israeli prisons.

As a result, the defence team submitted an urgent request to the Israel Prison Authority to release Manasra immediately, stressing that the young man – who was detained as a minor – requires professional diagnosis, treatment with appropriate medications and an end to his isolation.

It stated that it held the Israeli occupation responsible for “the deterioration in Ahmad’s physiological condition in particular and his health in general,” adding that “a disregard of Ahmad’s health condition could lead to a serious psychological setback.”

Manasra has been unlawfully detained for seven years by the Israeli occupation under horrific circumstances and is currently suffering from serious mental health issues. He was arrested at just 13 and violently interrogated without a lawyer or his parents present.

He was handed a 12-year jail term – later reduced to nine – for the attempted murder of a 20-year-old and a 12-year-old boy in an illegal Jewish settlement in occupied East Jerusalem, this is despite him not taking part in the attack. His cousin was shot dead by an Israeli in 2015, while Manasra was brutally beaten up by an Israeli mob and crushed by an Israeli driver, leaving him with head injuries. At the time of his arrest, Israeli law stated that children under the age of 14 could not be held criminally responsible.

Last month, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) filed a request to the Beersheba District Court requesting the extension of his solitary confinement.