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Ahmad Manasra moved to psychiatric hospital

Lawyers for the 21-year-old detainee, who is nearing his second year in solitary confinement, say they were not informed of the transfer.

Jerusalem24 – Ahmad Manasra has been admitted to the psychiatric unit of Ramla Prison Hospital as his mental health further deteriorates, according to a statement shared yesterday on social media by the campaign advocating for Manasra’s freedom.

Manasra’s lawyers Khaled Zabarka and Nareman Shehadeh-Zoabi say they were not informed of his transfer, and  only found out when they filed a request to visit Manasra. According to the statement, the transfer took place some time last week.

21-year-old Manasra has been detained by Israel since he was 13 years old, and is nearing the beginning of his second consecutive year in solitary confinement.

Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, submitted a motion to the Israeli Supreme Court on 3 October seeking permission to appeal a lower Israeli court’s decision on 1 September to deny early release for Ahmad Manasra. The Supreme Court stipulated the State must respond by 6 November.

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

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

The Palestine-Global Network for Mental Health and the legal defense team for Manasra managed to secure a one-time visit from a therapist for Manasra at the end of August. 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.

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, even though the court found he had not participated in the stabbing.

Following the attack, Manasra was hit by a car and sustained serious head injuries while an Israeli crowd jeered at him. After his arrest, video footage, widely circulated on media, showed a 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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