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Testimony: A.M.H.G.


Name: A.M.H.G.
Age: 15
Date: 28 February 2018
Location: Al 'Ezariya, West Bank
Accusation: Protesting

On 28 February 2018, a 15-year-old youth from Al 'Ezariya is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 4:00 a.m. He reports being interrogated without being informed of his right to silence buy the interrogator. 

My father woke me up at around 4:00 a.m. and told me to get up because Israeli soldiers were in our home. I got up and found five soldiers inside our house. 
The soldiers gathered all of us in the middle room and then went to the bedrooms searching our clothes. They threw the clothes in my mother’s wardrobe on the floor and did the same to my clothes. They told us they were looking for a particular T-shirt which somebody was wearing during clashes with soldiers about two years earlier. When they did not find what they were looking for they looked inside the washing machine and inside the laundry bin but still, they did not find what they were looking for.
Then the commander told my father they wanted to arrest me. They told him they were looking for someone aged between 14 and 16-years-old. After checking the annex to my father’s identity card, they told him they wanted to take me to the police station in the settlement of Ma’ale Adummim for questioning. They did not give us any documents and did not say why they wanted to question me but they told my father he would receive a phone call from the police station.
After I put my clothes on the soldiers took me outside and walked me a short distance to where a waiting military jeep. On the way they handcuffed me to the front with metal handcuffs. The handcuffs were not painful. They also tried to blindfold me but I refused. Then I was put in the back of a jeep and made me sit on the metal floor. 
The jeep drove to Ma’ale Adummim police station where I sat on a chair in an outdoor area for about three hours. They brought me some food and water and allowed me to use the toilet. Then I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator was in police uniform and had a tape recorded. As soon as I entered the room he told me if I don’t lie to him and cooperate nicely he would send me home. Then he called a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me to remain silent and not to confess. I did not understand what he meant by remaining silent. When the lawyer hung up the interrogator swore at him and told me not to listen to what he told me especially if he told me not to confess. He said lawyers are liars and they want to screw me up. 
Then the interrogator showed me photographs of clashes with soldiers and accused me of taking part. I denied the accusation. When I denied it he raised his voice and swore at god and banged the table. He also slapped me twice on my face. He thought if he shouted and banged the table I would confess but I did not. 
He interrogated me for about an hour. He questioned me about people in the photograph. He wanted me to confess and to give him names. I did not give him any names and I did not confess. 
After about an hour the interrogator showed me a document in both Arabic and Hebrew and asked me to sign it but I told him I could not read or write and refused to sign. Then I was photographed and fingerprinted and taken to Ofer prison. 
On arrival at Ofer prison I was strip searched and then I was taken to Section 13.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents were not in court because the lawyer told them there was no need. The lawyer was there and the hearing was adjourned. 
Two days later I was taken back to Ma’ale Adummim for another interrogation. The interrogator did not inform me of my rights and did not allow me to speak to a lawyer. He had a tape recorder and asked me the same questions as the first interrogator and accused me of the same accusation. He wanted me to give him names of boys shown in the photograph. I refused to give him names and did not confess. He interrogated me for about 30 minutes and did not show me any documents to sign. 
After the interrogation I was left in a room by myself for about four hours. I slept and ate the food they brought me. Then I was taken back to Ofer prison.
I had three military court hearings. At the last one the military court decided to release me on bail for lack of evidence. My father had to pay 1,000 shekels bail. So far I have not been summoned back to court. This makes me live in constant worry and fear because they might arrest me again any time. I run home when I see soldiers in my town.
I was released on bail on 9 March and I went home with my father. I arrived home at around 2:30 pm and had a nice meal with my family and friends. I was very bored in prison. I played table tennis but I did not attend classes.