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Testimony: M.A.A.N.


Name: M.A.A.N.
Age: 16
Date: 13 January 2021
Location: Al Mughayyer, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 13 January 2021, a 16-year-old minor from Al Mughayyer was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 4:00 a.m. He reports being interrogated several times without first consulting with a lawyer but being shown a document about his legal rights. 

I was arrested from home at around 4:00 a.m. I was asleep and woke up to the sound of loud banging at our front door. I looked out the window and saw lots of Israeli soldiers on the street. I woke my father up and he opened the door and about 20 soldiers entered our home. They told my father they had come for me and the commander told me to get ready after checking my identity card. The soldiers did not give my parents any documents and only told us I was wanted for questioning.
Inside our house a soldier tied my hands behind my back with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were very tight and painful and left marks on my wrists. 
The soldiers hardly spent 10 minutes in our house before taking me outside and walking me towards the military watchtower about one kilometer away. On the way a soldier kicked me on my leg because I laughed at him when he tripped. As we approached the watchtower a soldier blindfolded me and then I was left in an open area in the rain for about 30 minutes. 
Then I was taken in a vehicle to the police station in Binyamin settlement. I was left in the vehicle outside the police station for about 30 minutes and then I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator had a camera and a voice recorder in the room. He removed the blindfold but did not arrange for me to speak to a lawyer. Then he gave me a document written in Arabic and Hebrew saying I could choose to remain silent but that could turn against me. 
The interrogator began by telling me there were confessions against me. He accused me of throwing stones at settler cars on the main road in the valley near my village. When I denied the accusation, he became angry and shouted at me and told me I had to confess. He threatened to lock me up in prison for a long time if I did not confess. 
The interrogator questioned me for about an hour and at the end he showed me a document written in Hebrew and asked me to sign it. When I asked him to translate the document for me he told me he could not translate the document.
After the interrogation I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement where I was searched in my boxer shorts before being taken to a cell. I spent about 14 days in the cell with two other boys. 
My first military court hearing was conducted via video link without my parents. My detention was extended and the hearing adjourned. 
I had three military court hearings. The last one was on 29 January 2021, on the day of my release. My parents were fined NIS 2,000 shekels and I was released after the court session. 
My father drove me home and on the way we were stopped at a checkpoint. The soldiers told me I was detained. They told my father to go home and took me to the back of a military jeep and made me sit on the metal floor. A soldier tied my hands to the front with one plastic tie which was not too tight.
I was taken back to the police station in Binyamin settlement where I was questioned for about two hours. The interrogator showed me a document written in Arabic and Hebrew about my rights. He called my father and told him I was held in detention. He did not allow me to speak to a lawyer and told me another boy had testified against me. The interrogator was aggressive and when I denied the accusation he threatened to lock me up in prison for a long time because he had "a thousand points" in my charge sheet. I continued to deny the accusations.
At the end he asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew but I refused to sign it. Then I was taken in a police car to Al Mascobiyeh interrogation centre, in Jerusalem. I was put in a cell with other boys. I spent two days there and then my lawyer managed to get me released. I was dropped off at Hizma checkpoint and I called my parents who came and picked me up. I arrived home at around 10:00 p.m.
This testimony was produced with the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Military Court Watch.