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Amnesty slams 'outrageous' Israel for not releasing child prisoner, Manasra

Ahmed Manasra (C), a 14-year old Palestinian boy, convicted of the attempted murder of two Israelis in a stabbing in October 2015, leaves the District Court in Jerusalem after his sentencing hearing on 7 November 2016. [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]
Ahmed Manasra (C), a 14-year old Palestinian boy, convicted of the attempted murder of two Israelis in a stabbing in October 2015, leaves the District Court in Jerusalem after his sentencing hearing on 7 November 2016. [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]

Amnesty International has called for the immediate release of young Palestinian, Ahmad Manasra, who is currently suffering from severe mental health problems.

The 21-year-old has been held in an Israeli prison since he was thirteen. He has been kept in solitary confinement in Eshel Detention Centre for the past eight months.

In response to the Israeli Prison Service's rejection of a request to move Manasra out of solitary confinement, Amnesty International's Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Heba Morayef, said, "It is outrageous that the Israeli authorities have renewed Ahmad Manasra's spell in solitary confinement."

"Continuing to detain Ahmad Manasra in such inhumane conditions is a callous act of injustice.  Ahmad has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and is severely depressed."

It comes after the psychological team following Manasra's case with the defence team expressed concern last month regarding his psychological state due to the violence, isolation and oppression he is subjected to in Israeli prisons.

READ: Israel sees half a million sign petition to release Ahmad Manasra

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.

There will be a further hearing regarding his solitary conditions at Beersheba District Court on 16 August.

"He was just 13 years old when he was arrested. The decision to detain him should always have been a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible time," Morayef added.

Ahmad Manasra 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.

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Amnesty InternationalInternational OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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