The Palestinian Prisoners Club announced the refusal of the Israeli occupation authorities to release the Palestinian prisoner Ahmed Manasra.
The Club said in a statement on Facebook, “Today, the occupation court rejected the appeals submitted by the defence team of the prisoner Ahmed Manasra, in the Beersheba Court, which demanded the annulment of the committee’s decision on classifying the Manasra file as a terrorist file, and to demand his release.”
As for the lawyers’ team’s demand to release Manasra due to his health and psychological condition, Khaled Zabarka said, “The court also rejected our request, and claimed that Ahmed’s health condition is not serious enough for his release.”
Regarding the next step after the centralization decision of Beersheba, Zabarka told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, “The next step is to go to the Supreme Court of the occupation, or submit a petition to amend the anti-terror law in order to exclude children from this law.”
Manasra’s defence team had submitted appeals, after extending his solitary confinement for another six months, and the early release committee in Ramle prison recently rejected his request for early release.
On August 16, the occupation court in the city of Beersheba extended the isolation of prisoner Manasra for another six months, at the request of the occupation prison administration, despite his difficult health and psychological condition.
Manasra was born on January 22, 2002, in Jerusalem. He is one of a family of ten. He has two brothers, and is the eldest male in his family, in addition to five sisters. Before his arrest in 2015, Ahmed Manasra was a student at the New Generation School in Jerusalem, in the eighth grade, and he was 13 years old at the time.
In 2015, with the beginning of the “popular uprising”, arrests of children escalated, specifically in Jerusalem, accompanied by systematic abuse and torture. Ahmed was part of hundreds of children in Jerusalem who face the same fate.
On October 12, 2015, Ahmed and his cousin Hassan, who was martyred on that day after being shot, were subjected to brutal abuse by settlers, and at that time videos of harsh scenes of him were published that showed him lying on the ground screaming and injured, as the occupation soldiers tried to pin him to the ground and abused him. His case turned into a global one.
This day marked a turning point in Ahmed’s life, after his arrest, interrogation, and physical and psychological torture, even while receiving treatment in the hospital. As a result, he suffered a skull fracture and serious health symptoms.
Later, the Israeli court, after several sessions, issued a verdict of 12 years in prison against Ahmed and compensation of 180,000 shekels. The sentence was reduced to nine and a half years in 2017.
It is noteworthy that Ahmed Manasra, who has faced detention, torture and solitary confinement since he was 13 years old, is one of the hundreds of children who are subjected to arrests and torture in the occupation prisons annually, in addition to the policy of deliberate medical negligence.
The Israeli forces have arrested more than 12,000 Palestinian children since 2000, according to the human rights organization Addameer. According to the organization, most children are tried for stone-throwing, which is punishable by military law with imprisonment of up to 20 years.