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Despite his deteriorating mental health, ‘Israel’ looks into extension of Manasra’s solitary confinement

Occupied Palestine (The Inside Palestine)- Israel Prison Service (IPS) has filed a request to the Beersheba District Court requesting the extension of prisoner Ahmed Manasra’s solitary confinement, Quds Press reported yesterday.

Head of Manasra’s defence team, lawyer Khaled Zabarqa, said: “The court is to look into the request of the IPS on Wednesday at 12:00.”

Zabarqa warned that solitary confinement would aggravate his already complicated health conditions.

Manasra has been held in solitary confinement several times since he was detained when he was 13 years old. His mental health has deteriorated as a result, his lawyer said.

In December 2021, an external doctor was allowed to visit Manasra for the first time since his imprisonment. The psychiatrist from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) issued a medical report, which has since been attached to his case file, stating that Manasra suffers from schizophrenia.

“His mental health is deteriorating inside the prison. He keeps crying, he imagines things and situations that don’t exist, he mixes up his speech,” Manasra’s uncle said. “I have been in prison and I have seen cases like this – we thought it was a phase that would pass – but he is only getting worse.”

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Zabarqa said: “We must use the tools that are at our disposal,” adding that he was not hopeful of a positive outcome from the Israeli courts

“Ahmad should have been released a long time ago,” he added.

Manasra asked the lawyer in April this year whether, as a Muslim, he is able to commit suicide, the lawyer added.

Manasra has been unlawfully detained for seven years by the Israeli occupation under horrific circumstances and is currently suffering from serious mental health issues. He was arrested at just 13 and interrogated without a lawyer or his parents present.

The was handed a 12-year jail term – later reduced to nine – for the attempted murder of a 20-year-old and a 12-year-old boy in an illegal Jewish settlement in occupied East Jerusalem, this is despite him not taking part in the attack. His cousin was shot dead by an Israeli in 2015, while Manasra was brutally beaten up by an Israeli mob and crushed by an Israeli driver, leaving him with head injuries. At the time of his arrest, Israeli law stated that children under the age of 14 could not be held criminally responsible.

There have been growing calls for his release, but these were rejected, however following the court’s decision to drop terrorism charges against him, the defence committee appealed against the rejection, and the court agree that his case is reviewed by the parole committee in April.

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