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e-4333 (Foreign affairs)

Initiated by Ghada Sasa from Mississauga / Peel Region, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • Israeli occupation forces arrested Ahmad Manasra when he was only 13 years old, on Octber 12, 2015: "Despite being found by the [Israeli] courts not to have participated in the stabbings [against two Israeli settlers], he was convicted of attempted murder in 2016 in proceedings marred by allegations of torture, and despite the fact that he was below the minimum age of criminal responsibility at the time" (Amnesty International, 2022);
  • "Ahmad was hit by a car and sustained serious head injuries while an Israeli crowd jeered at him" (UN, 2022);
  • "Following his arrest, video footage, widely circulated on media, showed young, distressed Ahmad being harshly treated and severely interrogated without the presence of his parents or legal representative" (UN, 2022);
  • Israel held Ahmad in solitary confinement since November 2021, "in violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment" (Amnesty International, 2022);
  • Ahmad has become suicidal and been diagnosed with schizophrenia (Amnesty International, 2022);
  • Both UN (2022) human rights experts and Amnesty International (2022) called for Ahmad Manasra’s immediate release from Israeli jail;
  • Referring to "secret evidence", Israel prolonged Ahmad’s solitary confinement until March 16, 2023; and
  • Israeli occupation forces raided Ahmad’s family home, stealing cash and gold on February 17, 2023.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to request that Israel immediately free Ahmad Manasra.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Rob Oliphant

The promotion and protection of human rights constitutes an integral aspect of Canadian diplomatic efforts abroad, and children’s rights are a top concern of our foreign policy including our commitment to the protection of children’s rights worldwide, as enumerated under the Convention of the Rights of the Child. This Convention, ratified by Canada in 1991, ranks as the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history.

Global Affairs Canada closely monitors the status of children’s rights in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and is aware of the Ahmad Manasra case. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs has also engaged with individuals and organizations raising concerns.

Canada will continue to condemn all violence impacting innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians, particularly children. Canada believes that all actors in the region must fully respect international human rights and humanitarian law, which is key to ensuring the protection of civilians, and contributes to the creation of a climate conducive to achieving a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the form of a two-state solution, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace, security, and dignity.

Open for signature
February 28, 2023, at 1:32 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
April 29, 2023, at 1:32 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie)
February 15, 2024 (Petition No. 441-02177)
Government response tabled
April 8, 2024
Photo - Alexandre Boulerice
Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie
New Democratic Party Caucus