Amnesty urges Israeli authorities to release 'mentally ill' 20-year-old Palestinian Ahmad Manasra

Amnesty urges Israeli authorities to release 'mentally ill' 20-year-old Palestinian Ahmad Manasra
2 min read
18 June, 2022
Ahmad Manasra was detained seven years ago when he was just 13. He has since endured long periods in solitary confinement and developed several mental illnesses, according to Amnesty International.
The human rights watchdog has urged Israeli authorities to release Ahmad Manasra (centre) [Getty]

Amnesty International has urged Israel to ‘immediately’ release Ahmad Manasra, a 20-year-old Palestinian man who was arrested seven years ago as a child. 

He has reportedly developed serious mental problems since his arrest as a 13-year-old. 

Manasra was first arrested in 2015 and was ‘harshly interrogated’ and threatened by Israeli authorities, according to Amnesty. He was placed in solitary confinement in early November 2021, and has been there ever since. 

He has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and suffers from psychotic delusions, depression, and suicidal thoughts. 

“Ahmad Manasra has been subjected to a catalogue of injustices by the Israeli authorities, including deleterious effects of incarceration on his development and prolonged solitary confinement,” said Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa in the press release.

“He endured ill-treatment during interrogations, which were conducted without his parents or lawyers’ presence, and was denied the right to a fair trial. He should have been released a long time ago, yet he remains in unnecessary suffering in Israeli prisons.” 

Israel has a long record of human rights abuses against Palestinians, including children.

The widespread use of administrative detention without trial goes back decades. Israel's continued occupation of Palestinian land and its persecution and violence against Palestinians have been defined as apartheid by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

“Israel’s widespread and systematic use of arbitrary arrest, administrative detention and torture on a large scale against Palestinians is a flagrant violation of international law, and is a key component of the apartheid system,” said Heba Morayef.

“Ahmad Manasra is one of countless Palestinians, whose rights as a child, have been swept up in Israel’s deeply flawed justice system, and he must be released,” she added.