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Home » Children »

Testimony: L.M.J.

 

Name: L.M.J.
Age: 15
Date of incident: 17 August 2015
Location: Sa'ir, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
 
On 17 August 2015, a 15-year-old youth is arrested with his younger brother after his father receives a telephone summons. He is accused of throwing stones.
 
I was arrested with my brother after my father received a phone call at 9:00 a.m. from an Israeli intelligence officer in Etzion settlement. The intelligence officer, who said his name was Yossi, told my father to bring me and my brother to the police station in the settlement for questioning.
 
Our father immediately took us to Etzion and we arrived  at around 10:00 a.m. A policeman initially allowed my father to enter with us but then told him to leave. He told my father that we were going to be questioned about throwing stones and that my father was not allowed to attend the interrogation.
 
Before the interrogation started the interrogator showed me a document that said things about the interrogation which I found hard to read and I couldn't understand. I told the interrogator I suffered from a mental disability. I told the interrogator that I knew I was entitled to consult with a lawyer. The interrogator told me there was no need for a lawyer.
 
Before I was asked any questions the interrogator handcuffed me to the front. Then he accused me of throwing stones and Molotov cocktail at soldiers with other boys near the bypass road used by settlers. I told him this was not true, and that I never went near the bypass road. Then he showed me a picture on his mobile phone and said that the picture was of me throwing stones. The picture was not clear and it was not of me. It was of a boy standing on the side of the road doing nothing.
 
The interrogator was an Israeli policeman and spoke fluent Arabic. He interrogated me for about an hour-and-a-half. He told me that my interrogation lasted longer than necessary and that I must confess. He became angry and started to bang at the table violently, and told me that I had to confess. I told him that there was nothing for me to confess to. Then he took me to see another interrogator who accused me of the same accusation.
 
He told me that the pictures on the mobile phone were of me. He interrogated me for about two hours. He threatened that if I didn't confess he was going to bring dogs into the room and that he would deny me food. I insisted that I had nothing to confess to. He then took me to see a third interrogator.
 
The third round of interrogation lasted almost three hours, and the interrogator repeated the same accusations. He told me I was accused of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. He asked me questions which I didn't understand. He also asked me for the names of boys who throw stones at soldiers.
 
The third interrogator phoned my father but he did not allow me to talk to him. I heard him speak to someone over the phone. He then told me that my father said that I must confess and that it was in my best interests to confess. I later found out from my father that this was not true and that he never received any phone calls from anyone at the police station.
 
The interrogator told me to forget about the other rounds of interrogation and to confess about everything including names of other boys. He showed me some photographs of boys from my village and asked me to identify them. I told him I didn't know the boys and I didn't throw stones at anyone. I asked him if I could use the toilet but he refused.
 
He then printed out my statement in Arabic and Hebrew and asked me to sign it. I told him I wanted a lawyer to translate the statement for me. He told me there was no need for a lawyer and that he was going to ask the first interrogator who spoke fluent Arabic to translate for me which is what he did. The other interrogator told me it was ok to sign the statement. Still, I refused to sign.
 
Then I received a phone call from somebody. The interrogator told me it was a lawyer. The person told me not to worry and that he was going to come to court. I was then photographed and fingerprinted and taken for a strip search. I was then taken to a room where I remained until around 7:00 p.m.
 
At around 7:00 p.m. I was shackled and handcuffed and driven to Ofer prison, about one-and-a-half hours away. On arrival at Ofer I was strip searched again and taken to Section 13.
 
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents were not there because they were not informed but a lawyer was there. The lawyer convinced the court to release me on bail until a charge sheet was presented. My family had to pay NIS 2,000 bail. My parents could not pay the bail immediately and I was released a few days later on 21 August 2015. I went home with my father.