Jerusalem24- When he was 13 years old, Ahmad Manasra was accused of participating in an attempted stabbing. A gruesome video from that time shows Ahmad on October 12, 2015, being thrown by the Israeli police and settlers onto the railway tracks of occupied Jerusalem – causing a skull fracture.
Photos also surfaced of Ahmad handcuffed to a bed in a hospital, where he was receiving treatment before being taken by Israeli interrogators in the infamous video that was leaked to local and international media.
In the video, Ahmad was pleading that he doesn’t remember anything and that he needs a doctor, all while the interrogator insulted and screamed at him.
Ahmad is but one story of hundreds. A 2020 report by Defense for Children International stated that around 500-700 Palestinian children are detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court, some as young as 12 years old. the most common charge against them is stone throwing.
Recently, a movement has picked up pace calling for Manasra’s release from Israel’s prisons. Organized by the Palestinian-Global Mental Health Network, which also published a petition demanding his release after six years of abuse in an Israeli prison, with over 126 thousand people signing the petition so far.
Ahmad Manasra was arrested in 2015 just when he was 13 years, and was sentenced in 2016, initially for 12 years. That was subsequently reduced to 9.5 years and a fine of over $47,000 which his impoverished family had to scrape for to get.
His next court hearing in front of Israeli judges is on 13 April and many on the social media are pleading for everyone to sign the petition they hope would lead to Ahmad’s release, who is now 20 years-old from Beit Hanina in occupied Jerusalem.
In this episode of Wake-Up Palestine Dr. Lama Khoury, a co-founder of the Palestinian-Global Mental Health Network and member of its steering committee to talk about Mansra’s case and the campaign to release him.