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Testimony: A.S.A.

 Name:  A.S.A.
 Age:  16 years
 Date of incident:    15 December 2013
 Location:  Tuqu’, West Bank
 Accusation:  Throwing stones/Molotovs
On 15 December 2013, a 16-year-old boy from Tuqu’, in the West Bank, is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones.
“I was asleep when my brother woke me up. It was 2:00 a.m. I immediately went to the living room and found it full of Israeli soldiers. The Israeli intelligence officer in charge of our area, 'Captain Nabil’, was also present. The intelligence officer told my father they were going to arrest me. He didn’t tell us the reason for my arrest but told my father they were going to interrogate me at the police station in the settlement of Etzion. He asked my father to sign a document and told me to get dressed.”
“I was immediately taken outside where I was tied with my hands to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and one connecting the two. The ties were not painful. The soldiers led me out of the village where some military jeeps were waiting near the main road. It was about a 15 minute walk. I was  then made to wait near a troop carrier for about two hours. After two hours I was put in the back of the troop carrier and driven to the settlement of Etzion, about 15 minutes away. On arrival at Etzion I remained in the troop carrier until around 3:00 p.m. I wasn’t given any food but I was given some water and allowed to use the bathroom.”
“At around 3:00 p.m. I was taken for interrogation. I was put in a car and driven a short distance to a military base where I was led into an interrogation room. During the interrogation I remained tied. There was a camera and a tape recorder in the room. The interrogator did not read me my rights and he didn’t tell me I had the right to silence. He also didn’t tell me I had the right to see a lawyer. The interrogation lasted for about an hour. The interrogator accused me of throwing Molotov cocktails and stones at soldiers. He told me there were eyewitnesses and mentioned the names of four people I know and told me they had confessed against me. In the beginning I denied the accusations. The interrogator got angry and pushed me off the chair. I fell on the floor. He also swore at me and said bad things about my mother. He threatened me and said if I didn’t confess he was going to keep me in prison for the rest of my life. I still denied the accusations. He then printed out a document written in Hebrew and asked me to sign it. I refused. He then said it didn’t matter as I would be convicted on the confessions of others.”
“After the interrogation I was photographed and fingerprinted. I was then taken to a room which had a bed and a toilet. I was kept in the room by myself until around 7:00 p.m. when a soldier entered and handcuffed and shackled me. I was then put in a vehicle and driven to Ofer prison, near Ramallah. On arrival at Ofer I was strip searched, given prison clothes and taken to Section 13 where I was put with other young people. The following day I was told I had a military court hearing. My parents were not present in the military court but there was a lawyer. The hearing was adjourned. Four days later I had another military court hearing. My parents were there and so was the lawyer. I was allowed to speak to my parents across the court room. The lawyer told me a charge sheet had been presented and that I was accused of throwing stones. I had about seven more hearings in the military court.”
“At one of the hearings my lawyer told me I might be sentenced to six months in prison. During the hearing before last it turned out that the prosecutor was requesting 10 months imprisonment and this is what happened. The lawyer was able to convince the court to accept 4,000 shekels instead of four months in prison (a thousand shekels for each month). The military court judges accepted this offer and I was also sentenced to 18 months suspended sentence valid for four years, which is a very long time.”
“The military court process went on for nearly five months. During this time I was able to see my family in court where I could to speak to them. After I was sentenced, my parents visited me in prison regularly. In prison I was allowed to study Arabic. I was released on 10 June 2014. I went home with my parents who were waiting for me outside prison.”