Approximately 160 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in Israeli jails and detention centers, mainly in “Megiddo”, “Ofer” and “Damon” prisons.
Ahmad Manassra: A story of Palestinian Child Prisoner in Israel
Ahmad Manasra has been imprisoned by Israel since he was 13 years old. Critically injured at the time of his arrest, he has been subject to consistent physical and psychological abuse.
Over six years later, Israel ignored international calls and global campaigns to free Ahmed or to hold a hearing to review and possibly appeal his case on April 13.
In 2015, the gruesome nature of Ahmad’s arrest sparked outrage. He was run over by a settler’s car and — with his skull fractured — denied adequate medical treatment.
In footage that sparked worldwide outrage, Ahmad was filmed, in what appeared to be an investigation centre, shackled to a chair, shocked with an electronic bracelet, and shouted ceaselessly as he cried out “I do not remember,” and pleaded to see a doctor.
In 2016, Ahmad Manasra was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 12 years for allegedly participating with his cousin in an attack in an illegal Israeli settlement in occupied Jerusalem. His sentence was later reduced to 9 years, partly due to a lack of evidence that he played a secondary role in the attack.
Demand grows for the release of a young Palestinian who was jailed at the age of 13. Palestinian activists launched a social media campaign, calling for the immediate release of Ahmed Manasra. The campaign coincides with his retrial, 7 years since his arrest.
More than 2,11,800 people signed an electronic petition on the Change.org website, calling for the immediate release of the Palestinian youth, Ahmed Manasra, to be returned to the arms of his family, after years of cruel and systematic torture in Israeli prisons.
In March 2022, Palestine-Global Mental Health Network launched a campaign calling for Ahmad’s immediate release, which has made ripples on social media under the hashtag #FreeAhmadManasra.
According to the Palestinian Prisoners Authority, the child was subjected to brutal interrogations that lasted for hours and psychological torture, and he was deprived of sleep and rest.
In one of the video clips, circulated on social media, Ahmad can be seen crying while confronting an investigator from the Israeli forces, saying “I am not sure” and “I don’t remember”, however, the investigator kept screaming at him in order to destabilize him and obtain confessions from him.
Stop Child Arrest Policy
The Israeli forces have arrested more than 12,000 Palestinian children since 2000, according to the human rights organization Addameer. According to the organization, most children are tried for stone-throwing, which is punishable by military law with imprisonment of up to 20 years.
According to the report, 81 percent suffered physical beatings, 88 percent did not receive adequate and timely healthcare and 52 percent were threatened with harm to their families and a vast majority experienced other forms of abuse.