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Home » Children »

Testimony: M.H.A.

Name: M.H.A.
Age: 16 years
Date of incident: 10 March 2014
Location: At Tabaqa, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
                        
On 10 March 2014, a 16-year-old boy from At Tabaqa, in the West Bank, is arrested by Israeli soldiers and accused of throwing stones during a demonstration.
 
“I was taking part in a demonstration near my village at around 4:00 p.m. when Israeli soldiers started to chase me. I couldn’t run fast enough and the soldiers caught me. As soon as I was arrested a soldier hit me with the back of his gun all over my body. Other soldiers swore at me in Hebrew. I was immediately taken to the back of a jeep and made to sit on the floor. I was tied to the front with 3 plastic ties: one on each wrist and one connecting the two. I was also blindfolded. The jeep drove for about 10 minutes to a nearby military base.”
 
“On arrival at the base I was taken out of the jeep and made to sit on the ground by the gate. A soldier asked me if I had a mobile phone on me. When I told him I did, he told me to call my family to tell them I was arrested. I called my father and told him. I was taken back to the jeep where I was made to sit on the floor. The jeep drove for about an hour before it stopped again. This time I was outside the police station in the settlement of Etzion. It was around 6:00 p.m. I was immediately taken to see a doctor who asked me if I suffered from any illnesses. I tried to tell him I have a problem in my ear but I don’t think he understood me. During the medical examination I was tied but the blindfold was removed. After the examination I was taken for interrogation.”
 
“The interrogator was in military uniform. I was still tied and I was in the room alone with the him. The interrogator told me I had the right to silence before he started the interrogation. He also told me I had the right to consult with a lawyer but I wasn’t given the opportunity to do so before I was questioned. He then started by telling me I was accused of throwing stones at soldiers and that I had been caught red-handed. I told him this was not true. He then told me if I didn’t confess he was going to put my father in prison. I was scared and decided to confess. I told the interrogator I did indeed throw stones. The interrogation lasted for about half-an-hour. In the end the interrogator printed out a document in Hebrew and asked me to sign it which I did. Then I was photographed and fingerprinted and taken to a courtyard.”
 
“I was kept in the courtyard for three days. I was tied and blindfolded the whole time. Soldiers brought me a blanket to keep me warm at night. They brought me food once a day. They allowed me to use the bathroom but kept my hands tied. I didn’t have enough water to drink. I asked the soldiers to take me inside but they told me I was too young and the Etzion authorities had refused to admit me. On the third day, at around 10:00 a.m., I was put into the back of a vehicle. The plastic hand ties were replaced with metal handcuffs. I was also shackled. The vehicle drove for about an hour before it stopped at Ofer prison, near Ramallah.”
 
“At Ofer I was immediately taken for a security check and I was strip searched. I was then given prison clothes and taken into Section 11 where I was put with adult prisoners. I spent most of my sentence in Section 11. I was only taken to Section 13 where I was put with children one month before I was released.”
 
“Two days after my arrival at Ofer I was taken to the military court. A lawyer was in the military court to represent me. My parents were not there. The hearing was adjourned. My parents attended the second hearing in addition to the lawyer. The judge wanted to put me in prison for six months but my lawyer objected. The hearing was adjourned. I had six court hearings. In the end my lawyer convinced the court to give me four months in prison instead of the requested six months. I also was given a suspended sentence for nine months valid for two years and a fine of 2,000 shekels which my family paid. I was released from prison on 26 June 2014, before my sentence was supposed to end. That is why nobody from my family was waiting for me outside prison. I took a taxi and went home by myself. My parents paid the driver when I arrived home. “