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Testimony: O.Y.O.N.


Name: O.Y.O.N.
Age: 16
Date of incident: 25 October 2016
Location: Nahhalin, West Bank
Accusation: Starting a fire
On 25 October 2016, a 16-year-old youth from Nahhalin is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. and accused of starting a fire. He is released without charge 18 hours later. " I woke up terrified to the sound of a loud explosion."
I woke up terrified to the sound of a loud explosion at around 2:00 a.m. I quickly realised Israeli soldiers were inside our house after blowing up the front door. My father approached the soldiers who looked like they were prepared for war. The soldiers shouted at my father and told him to bring all the males to the living room.
Once we had gathered in the living room the soldiers checked our identity cards and then told me to get dressed because I was under arrest. I saw the soldiers give my father a document and I heard the commander tell my father they were going to take me for questioning for 10 minutes and would then bring me home. They did not tell us what I was accused of.
The soldiers were in a hurry and quickly took me outside the house where they tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was very tight. I was reluctant to tell the soldiers it was tight because I thought they might beat me if I complained. Then they blindfolded me and took me to the back of a jeep where I sat on a seat.
The jeep drove towards the nearby settlement of Bitar Ilit where I was put in a shipping container. I was then examined by a doctor who removed the blindfold during the examination and later put it back on.
Then I was taken to a room where I sat on a chair and I fell asleep on the chair. At around 9:00 a.m. soldiers took me back to a jeep where I sat on a seat. The jeep drove for about 30 minutes to the police station in Etzion settlement where I was taken to a courtyard and waited for about an hour before I was taken for interrogation.
Before I sat down the interrogator asked me where I lived and wanted to know who my friends were. I was still tied and blindfolded. Then he sat me down on a chair and removed the blindfold but kept the tie on. He had a tape recorder and he told me I had the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer. I told him there was no need for a lawyer because I hadn’t done anything wrong. The interrogator then called my parents and told them I was detained at Etzion police station.
The interrogator then accused me of starting a fire by the fence near the settlement and of throwing paint at a settler’s house. He also named another boy and told me he had confessed against me. I told him I didn’t know that boy and asked him to confront me with him but he never did. He interrogated me for about 30 minutes and then asked me to sign a document written in both Hebrew and Arabic which said I was informed of my rights.
Then he took my photograph and my fingerprints and then blindfolded me and took me to the courtyard where I sat on a chair until around 6:00 p.m. Then the interrogator approached me and phoned my father and told him he had interrogated me and found me not guilty. The interrogator wanted me to walk home by myself but I objected. He then asked the soldiers to give me a lift to the entrance to the village. I arrived home at around 7:00 p.m.