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Israeli court rejects appeal against Ahmad Manasra terrorism conviction

The terrorism charges disqualify 21-year-old Manasra from early release.

Jerusalem24 – The Israeli Central Court in Beersheba rejected this afternoon the appeal filed by the defense team for Jerusalemite prisoner Ahmad Manasra.

An Israeli special committee issued a decision in June to classify Manasra’s case under the “Terrorism Law”, preventing him from applying for his early release.

Manasra’s defense team issued a statement yesterday demanding the court change “the illegitimate classification of Ahmad’s case and free him immediately.”

Saleh Manasra, the father of 21-year-old Manasra, said that the health and psychological condition of his son was very poor, due to detention conditions he suffered over seven years of captivity. Saleh Manasra also rejected the decision of the court to describe his son’s psychological condition as “not serious enough.”

The Palestine-Global Network for Mental Health and the legal defense team for prisoner Ahmad Manasra announced that they managed to secure a one-time visit from a therapist for Manasra.

After the session, the therapist concluded that Ahmad is suffering deep psychological repercussions that began with the head injury he suffered when he was arrested at age 13, and which the therapist says worsened as a result of his captivity and torture.

The therapist said that the Israeli prison authorities’ procedures are not commensurate to Manasra’s physical and mental health needs. Rather, they constitute a “clear and deliberate neglect […] the most egregious of which is the deprivation of a safe childhood and the chance to grow in a natural environment, as well as taking away all sources of support for healthy development.”

Manasra was arrested as a 13-year-old boy in 2015 for carrying out a stabbing attack in which two Israelis were injured. His 15-year-old cousin Hassan Manasra was shot and killed by Israeli police during the same attack. Ahmad Manasra was sentenced in 2016 to 12 years in prison, later reduced to nine and a half years.

Following the stabbing, Manasra was hit by a car and sustained serious head injuries while an Israeli crowd jeered at him. Following his arrest, video footage, widely circulated on media, showed young, distressed Ahmad being harshly treated and severely interrogated without the presence of his parents or legal representative.

Doctors and lawyers for Manasra have raised the possibility that he may have suffered severe brain trauma during the 2015 attack and his subsequent detention, further aggravating his mental health condition.

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