Amnesty International calls for urgent release of Palestinian prisoner jailed as a child

Jerusalem /PNN/

Amnesty International Wednesday called for the urgent release of a Palestinian prisoner who has been jailed as a child.

“It is outrageous that the Israeli authorities have renewed Ahmad Manasra’s spell in solitary confinement,” Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said.

She made her remarks responding to the Israeli Prison Service’s (IPS) Wednesday decision to renew the solitary confinement of Ahmad Manasra, a Palestinian prisoner who has developed serious mental health problems since his arrest as a child seven years ago.

“Continuing to detain Ahmad Manasra in such inhumane conditions is a callous act of injustice. Ahmad has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and is severely depressed,” she added.

The statement went on to explain that Manasra was just 13 years old when he was arrested. “The decision to detain him should always have been a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible time. Now, he is said to be a shadow of his former self and has threatened to take his own life. The Israeli authorities must immediately revoke their decision to renew his solitary confinement, and urgently release him from detention.” AI added.

On Wednesday, IPS rejected a request to move Manasra out of solitary confinement at Eshel prison. There will be a further hearing regarding his solitary conditions at Beersheba District Court on 16 August. His lawyer Khaled Zabarqa told Amnesty International: “He is in danger for his life, actual danger, and the repeated extensions of his solitary confinement are destroying him.”

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