The plight of Palestinian child prisoner Ahmad Manasra resurfaced online as his court hearing is taking place on Wednesday, with thousands of social media users worldwide sharing his story and demanding his release, The New Arab reported.
Manasra, now 20, was arrested by Israeli forces in 2015 when he was 13 years old on suspicion that he was involved in a stabbing attack carried out by his cousin Hassan Khalid Manasra in occupied East Jerusalem.
In the background, his mother cries, "Hey, please, I want to hug him."#FreeAhmadManasra
Video: al-Jarmaq pic.twitter.com/UI2QSXN5hb
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) April 13, 2022
At the time of his arrest, he was assaulted by Israeli security personnel and hit by a car, leaving him with a fractured skull.
His cousin was killed by Israeli forces after the alleged stabbing attack, but Manasra was sentenced in 2016, initially to 12 years in prison.
This was subsequently reduced to 9.5 years and a fine of over $47,000 which his family struggled to raise.
Today is the re-trial of Ahmad Manasra.
Ahmad was only 13 when he was imprisoned and tortured by the Israeli authorities.
— Marwa Fatafta مروة فطافطة (@marwasf) April 13, 2022
Manasra denies all charges that he took part in any attack and was famously interrogated to the point of desperation when he began screaming: “I do not remember, I do not remember, have I gone mad? Get a doctor and let him open my skull to show how I do not remember.”
The Israeli interrogator subsequently told him to be quiet and tortured him with an electric bracelet for hours.
Activists from across the world are now advocating for Manasra’s release.
A campaign titled #FreeAhmadManasra was launched by the Palestine Global Mental Health Network in conjunction with legal experts, children’s rights activists and prisoners rights groups to raise awareness for his tragic case.
Ahmad is a Palestinian prisoner whose mental health is deteriorating following 7 years of psychological & physical torture since his imprisonment from the age of 13.
Today he once again faces Israel's apartheid courts.
Sign 👇🏾 https://t.co/nJwyjdD6XD
— BDS movement (@BDSmovement) April 13, 2022
“Ahmad Manasra was imprisoned in conditions unbefitting of a child and alongside him, truth, justice, and humanity, were foreclosed as well. We want to attest to the fact that Ahmad has been subject to continuous punishment and abuse, multiple physical, psychological, and social torture,” said the Palestine Global Mental Health Network in a statement.
Since his arrest, he has been subjected to verbal and physical abuse, torture, and extended periods of solitary confinement, which caused his physical and mental health to deteriorate, his lawyer Khaled Zabarka explained in a video.
Today we keep our eyes on the re-trial of #AhmadManasra, who was 13 years old when imprisoned and tortured by Israeli forces.
— Rabet #SaveSheikhJarrah (@rabetbypipd) April 13, 2022
Since 2000, Israel has arrested approximately 12,000 children of whom approximately 200 remain in prison today. A 2020 report from Save the Children consulted 470 former child prisoners (held in the last 10 years in Israeli custody) on the conditions of their detention.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)