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Home » Children »

Testimony: F.M.N.S.

 

Name: F.M.N.S.
Age: 17
Date: 1 January 2019
Location: Kafr Qaddum, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 1 January 2019, a 17-year-old minor from Kafr Qaddum was arrested by Israeli soldiers during weekly protests at 5:00 p.m. He reports consulting via phone with a lawyer prior to interrogation but not being informed of his right to silence by the interrogator.

Israeli soldiers came to our neighbourhood during the weekly protest against a road closure. It was around 5:00 p.m. When I saw them I went home but they followed me.

Three soldiers kicked open our front door, breaking it, and then stormed into our home. They told my father they wanted to take me away for five minutes for questioning and then they would bring me back. They did not say why and did not give us any documents.

The soldiers took me outside where they tied my hands behind my back with two plastic ties on top of each other. The ties were very tight and painful and when I complained the soldier tightened them even more. Then they blindfolded me and walked me towards the settlement of Qedumim. They kicked me on the way to hurry me up.

At the settlement they made me wait by the military base for about two hours and then took me to the police station in Ariel settlement.

At Ariel I was left in a room until around midnight and I could not sleep. The soldiers were very noisy and I was tied and blindfolded the whole time. I was not given any food or drink. At around midnight I was taken for interrogation.

The interrogator removed the blindfold but kept me tied. At first he phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me I had the right to remain silent and warned me that remaining silent could harm me in court. He told me it would not be enough to convict me if the interrogator showed me photographic images or video footage. He also told me I had a court hearing on Thursday. The interrogator was not in the room when I spoke to the lawyer.

Then the interrogator asked me whether I was throwing stones during the protest. I told him I was not. Then he told me two soldiers had testified against me and said they had seen me throwing stones. I denied the accusation. The interrogator was in police uniform and was calm. He did not inform me of my right to silence. He questioned me for about 30 minutes and then showed me a document written in both Hebrew and Arabic and asked me to sign it. The document included paragraphs about my right to silence and the right to consult with a lawyer. It also included my statement. I signed it because it was identical to what I had said.

Then I waited a short while in another room before being taken to Huwwara military base near Nablus where I was searched in my underwear. I was then taken to a cell where they removed the ties. I spent a night there and I was not given any food or drink.

Later than morning a lawyer visited me and told me I had a military court hearing and that he had informed my parents. Then I was taken to Megiddo prison where I was strip searched and taken to a section with other prisoners.

The following day I had a military court hearing. My parents were not there and I was denied bail and the hearing was adjourned until Tuesday. The lawyer told me he was going to try to get me released on Tuesday.

I had four military court hearings and at the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to two months in prison and a fine of NIS 2,000. I was also given a suspended sentence of three months in prison valid for one year. I accepted the plea bargain because I would have been served with a longer term had I rejected it.

I was released early on 14 February 2019 and I went home with my father. We arrived home in the evening. I spent my time in Megiddo prison and my parents did not visit me because the permit to visit was not issued in time. In prison I exercised and lifted weights and chatted to a relative of mine who was in prison with me. I missed a whole semester of school.