Israeli Court Extends Solitary Confinement of Palestinian Prisoner Ahmad Manasra for Six More Months

Despite his medical condition, which requires immediate medical attention outside of prison, Manasra has been kept in solitary confinement for the past 16 months; Adalah: This decision demonstrates a clear intention to indefinitely continue this measure, which is classified as torture under international law.

Today, 13 March 2023, the Be’er Sheva District Court extended the solitary confinement of 21-year-old Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Manasra for an additional six months, solely relying on secret evidence. Manasra has already been in solitary confinement for the past 16 months, since November 2021. 


Manasra’s legal team, consisting of Adalah Attorneys Nareman Shehadeh-Zoabi and private Attorney Khaled Zabarqa, objected to the motion to extend on both procedural and principled grounds. They argued that Manasra’s conditions of confinement were in violation of both Israeli and international law and his prolonged solitary confinement constitutes a severe violation of his rights.


Manasra, who is a resident of East Jerusalem, was convicted of attempted murder as a minor, when he was just 14 years old, and was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years in prison. During his time in prison, Manasra's mental health has severely deteriorated, and he has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Medical professionals have stated that Manasra requires immediate specialist medical attention outside of prison.


Despite Manasra’s deteriorating mental health, the court accepted the State's contentions that he poses a threat to himself and others, based on secret intelligence information that his legal team was denied access to. The court refused to even consider the severity of Manasra’s mental health condition and the reality that further isolation will unquestionably lead to further deterioration in his mental health, which requires urgent and immediate medical attention outside of solitary confinement. 


The Court further held that the Israeli Prison Service is providing "the necessary and appropriate medical treatment, including forced hospitalization if necessary". However, the continued deterioration of Manasra's mental health and the failure to come up with alternative ways to treat him plainly contradict the Court’s statement.


During the hearing, the representative for the State Attorney's office stated that the threat Manasra allegedly poses to others did not begin with his conviction but rather earlier, "in the event for which he was convicted," demonstrating that the continued use of solitary confinement also serves an illegal punitive purpose. The State Attorney’s office representatives failed to present any alternative to solitary confinement, indicating that as long as Ahmad is held in an Israeli prison, the Israel Prison Service intends to keep him in solitary confinement.


Adalah stated in response to the court's decision that: "The court unquestioningly accepts the state's arguments, condoning inhumane practices, such as prolonged solitary confinement, which is considered torture under international law. The behavior of the Israeli Prison Services, the State’s Attorney, and the judiciary demonstrates their unmistakable intention to keep Ahmad Manasra in solitary confinement indefinitely, disregarding his mental health condition, and dismissing any alternative treatment plan."


Related Press Releases:

Israeli District Court extends solitary confinement of Palestinian youth prisoner Ahmad Manasra by additional four months based on secret evidence 24 November 2022


AHMED MANASRA: Be’er Sheva District Court held hearing on Prison Service request to extend his solitary confinement; next hearing 24 November 2022  15 November 2022


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