AHMED MANASRA: Be’er Sheva District Court held hearing on Prison Service request to extend his solitary confinement; next hearing 24 November 2022

On 13 November 2022, the Be’er Sheva District Court held a hearing concerning the request of the Israel Prison Service (IPS) and the State Attorney’s Office to extend the solitary confinement of Palestinian youth prisoner Ahmad Manasra for an additional six months. Manasra has been held in an Israeli prison in solitary confinement for almost a year, since 22 November 2021, despite his deteriorating mental health condition.


Manasra’s legal team, composed of Adalah Attorneys Nareman Shehadeh-Zoabi and Adi Mansour and private attorney Khaled Zabarqa, argued vehemently against the IPS request, and demanded his immediate release from solitary confinement. On 3 October 2022, the legal team also filed a motion, in a separate proceeding, to the Israeli Supreme Court seeking leave to appeal a lower court’s decision denying the early release of Manasra, despite his deteriorating mental health condition. The Court is to issue its decision in the coming days.


After the lengthy hearing, the Be’er Sheva Court decided to hold a further hearing on 24 November 2022. The Court ordered the IPS and the State Attorney’s office to provide additional materials and medical documents related to Manasra’s mental health condition during the last six months, including when he was involuntarily admitted to the Prison’s psychiatric ward. The Court has required the Israeli authorities to produce specific medical documents in order to justify his continued solitary confinement.


The State Attorney's Office first announced its intention to seek an extension of solitary confinement request only last Thursday (11 November 2022), and his legal team received it mere hours before the hearing.


During the hearing, Manasra’s legal team argued that the Court must reject the request to extend his solitary confinement, which had significantly worsened Ahmed's condition, and that continuing to isolate him would further aggravate his current mental health condition. They further argued that caselaw provides that solitary confinement for prolonged periods is an exception and should be employed only as a last resort and only under extreme circumstances.


Manasra’s psychological condition is severe and requires immediate and urgent medical attention outside of the prison. Thus the legal team argued that the conditions to which Manasra is subjected amounts to torture and ill-treatment in violation of international human rights law.


Case Citation: Prisoner Petition no. 51684-10-22 State of Israel v. Ahmed Manasra (Be’er Sheva District Court) (case pending)


Related Press Releases:


AHMAD MANASRA: Tomorrow, Sunday 13 November at 13:30, Be'er Sheva District Court to hear a request of Israel Prison Service to extend his solitary confinement 13 November 2022


Adalah to Israeli Supreme Court: Cancel Counter-Terrorism Law provision blocking release of Ahmad Manasra 03 October 2022