An Israeli Court has deferred a crucial hearing concerning the extension of Ahmad Manasra’s solitary confinement, citing the deteriorating health of the 21-year-old Palestinian detainee who has been held in isolation since November 2021. Ahmad Manasra, who has been diagnosed with severe mental health conditions, including schizophrenia and severe depression, was considered too unwell to attend the hearing, leading to international outcry and condemnation.
Amnesty International’s Khulood Badawi expressed alarm at the situation, asserting that the Israeli Prison Service’s request for a six-month extension of Ahmad’s isolation flagrantly violated international law. Badawi underscored that the extended solitary confinement, lasting more than 15 days, constitutes an absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.
“When Ahmad is discharged from the clinic, Israeli prison authorities will return him to solitary confinement and reschedule the court hearing. His ordeal persists,” Badawi remarked.
Ahmad Manasra has emerged as a symbol of the enduring suffering endured by Palestinian detainees in Israeli incarceration facilities. His case exemplifies the broader allegations of inhumane treatment and human rights abuses committed by the Israeli occupation.
Despite his grave mental health conditions, the Israeli occupation have persisted in detaining Manasra in solitary confinement, disregarding warnings from independent psychiatrists who have cautioned that his life is in jeopardy if he remains incarcerated.
Badawi, in a statement, decried the inhuman cruelty displayed by the Israeli occupation towards Ahmad Manasra, intent on pushing him beyond his limits. She highlighted that even though Ahmad’s health has seriously deteriorated to the point where he could not attend his own hearing, he is set to return to solitary confinement once discharged from the clinic, prolonging his nightmare.
She further emphasized the urgency of the situation, calling for the immediate release of Ahmad Manasra from prison to initiate his recovery process with the support of his family and community.
The case of Ahmad Manasra dates back to 2015 when he was arrested for allegedly being involved in stabbing and injury of two Israeli settlers in occupied Jerusalem. Despite Israeli courts finding that Ahmad did not participate in the stabbings, he has been serving a nine-and-a-half-year sentence for attempted murder.
During the incident, Israeli occupation forces shot dead his 15-year-old cousin, Hassan, at the scene of the stabbings in 2015, and Ahmad sustained severe head injuries when struck by a car. As he lay bleeding on the ground, large crowds gathered to taunt and shout abuse at him. Video footage from Ahmad Manasra’s interrogation displayed three Israeli soldiers hurling threats and insults at him as he sat sobbing with a bandage around his head.
Ahmad Manasra’s story has garnered international attention and condemnation, with human rights organizations and activists demanding justice and an end to the inhumane treatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.
Despite his debilitating psychiatric conditions and a medical report diagnosing him with mental health disorders arising from his detention, Ahmad Manasra’s plea for early release on medical grounds was rejected by the Israeli occupation in the summer of 2022.