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Home » Children »

Testimony: M.H.M.H.

 

Name: M.H.M.H.
Age: 12
Date: 9 April 2018
Location: Azzun, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 9 April 2018, a 12-year-old boy is detained by Israeli soldiers on the street in his village at 4:00 p.m. He reports being interrogated without first being informed of his right to consult with a lawyer or his right to silence. 

I was on the main street in my village when Israeli soldiers set up a flying checkpoint. It was around 4:00 p.m. I think there were clashes with soldiers earlier that day and they wanted to teach the village a lesson. 
 
Two soldiers approached me and told me an informant had confessed against me and soldiers had seen me with a Molotov cocktail. They also told me they had photographic evidence against me. I denied being involved in anything. Then the soldiers wanted to arrest me and I tried to run away but they chased me and beat me up. I was then taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on a seat. 
 
Once inside the jeep I was blindfolded and my hands were tied to the front with four plastic ties: two on each wrist and the four were connected together like a chain. The ties caused me a lot of pain. I banged my head inside the jeep and I was in shock. 
 
The jeep drove to the police station in Qedumim settlement. At the police station I was examined by a doctor who removed the blindfold and asked me some medical questions. Then I was blindfolded again and I was taken to the police station in Ariel settlement. I arrived there at around 9:00 p.m. At Ariel I waited in a room, tied and blindfolded, until around 2:00 a.m. when I was taken for interrogation.
 
The interrogator was dressed in civilian clothes and spoke to me via an interpreter. Two other people were in the room with him. There was also a camera. He removed the blindfold and did not inform me of any rights. He asked me what I was doing in his office. I told him I had no idea because the soldiers arrested me and brought me to his office. Then he showed me a photo of me standing on the street by an olive tree doing nothing. Then he told me I was in the area throwing stones. I denied the accusation. Then he showed me a photo of a boy with a Molotov cocktail in his hand. Then he kicked me on my legs and wanted me to confess but I did not confess to anything.
 
At the end of the interrogation he asked me if I wanted to speak to a lawyer and I told him I did not. I was afraid he might ask me to speak to someone pretending to be a lawyer; I just did not want to risk it. He did not say anything about my right to silence. Then he showed me a document in Arabic and asked me to sign it and I did after I read it and realised it was my statement. He brought me other documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them but I refused to sign the Hebrew documents. 
 
After the interrogation I was re-blindfolded and taken to Huwwara military base. I was searched in my underwear and then taken into a cell where I sat on a metal bed. I tried to sleep but I could not because there was a stench in the room. The ties and the blindfold were removed. I was left in the room until around 7:00 a.m. when I was given chocolate milk, a cucumber and two biscuits. 
 
After I ate I was handcuffed to the front and my legs shackled and taken in a troop carrier to Megiddo prison, inside Israel. I arrived there at around 10:00 a.m. At Megiddo I was searched in my underwear again and I waited in a room until around 4:00 p.m. when I was taken to the juvenile section.
 
The following day I was taken to the military court in Salem. My brother was in court and many lawyers were there but I did not know which one of them was my lawyer. The hearing was adjourned and I was taken back to Megiddo. I had three military court hearings. 
 
At the last hearing I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 16 days in prison and fined 1,100 shekels. I was also given a suspended sentence but I don’t know the details. My father accepted the plea bargain because he was tired of leaving his work to attend court hearings. They took up all his time.
 
I spent my entire sentence in Megiddo prison. In prison there was not much to do but I liked making Knafeh from bread crumbs and goat cheese. I was released on 25 April 2018 at around 4:00 p.m. I went home with my parents who were waiting for me at Al Jalama checkpoint. I arrived home at around 7:00 p.m. and all my friends came to our house to welcome me back.