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Testimony: M.W.M.N.


Name: M.W.M.N.
Age: 14
Date: 28 October 2019
Location: Al' Arrub, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 28 October 2019, a 14-year-old minor from Al’Arrub refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 4:00 a.m. He reports speaking to a lawyer via phone prior to interrogation but not being informed of his right to silence. 

At around 4:00 a.m. I heard loud banging at our front door. The front door was open and four Israeli soldiers entered our home. More soldiers surrounded the house. One of the soldiers told my father to gather the family in the living room and asked him to name us. 
Then the soldiers searched the house but they did not find anything. The soldiers had photographs with them. My father was also told to present our ID cards and one of the soldiers asked for me. Then he took a photo of me on his mobile phone. He then gave my father a document and told him they wanted to arrest me but did not say why.
I prepared myself and said goodbye to my family. The soldiers then took me outside where they tied my hands to the front with one plastic tie which was painful. It left marks on my wrists for days. They also blindfolded me.
The soldiers then led me towards a nearby village where military jeeps were waiting. When we arrived they put me in the back of a jeep and made me sit on the metal floor. Inside the jeep a soldier hit me on the arm with the back of his gun and another swore at me and called me “a son of a whore”.
Then they took me to the police station in Etzion settlement where I was left on the ground in an open area with other detainees until around 4:00 p.m. During this time I was given a medical examination. I also asked to use the toilet and they allowed me but I was not given any food.  My wrists were painful and I asked a soldier to loosen the tie but he tightened it even more. Then I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator told me his name was Shimon. He was in civilian clothes. As soon as I entered the room he removed the tie and the blindfold. He had a voice recorder on his desk. He did not inform me of my right to silence but he phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me to remain silent and not to answer questions or confess to anything. The conversation lasted for about two minutes and the interrogator left the room during the conversation. Then the interrogator came back and told me he was not going to say anything and I had to tell him everything there was to say.
The interrogator then said I had to tell him what happened on 6 October 2018. I did not say anything and remained silent. He yelled at me and wanted me to speak. He thumped the table and yelled at me urging me to confess. He told me I had to confess to throwing stones and a Molotov cocktail. I told him I did not know what a Molotov was. He questioned me for about 30 minutes and then took me outside. He did not show me any documents.
Then I was taken to a cell where I was strip searched. About half an hour later I was taken to Ofer prison. 
At Ofer I was strip searched again before being taken to section 13. The other detainees gave me some food; I had tuna and tomatoes and I went to bed. 
The following day I had a military court hearing at Ofer. My parents did not attend the hearing because they did not know it was taking place. The hearing was adjourned and I was taken back to Ofer prison. Two days later I had another hearing and the prosecutor asked for more time to interrogate me. 
Two days later I was taken to the police station in Bitar settlement but I was not interrogated and I was taken back to prison. 
The following day I had another military court hearing which was adjourned. Two days later I was taken to back to the police station in Bitar settlement and this time I was interrogated.
The interrogator allowed me to speak to a lawyer on the phone who told me to remain silent. Then the interrogator showed me a photo and claimed it was of me throwing stones. I denied the accusation. He questioned me for about five minutes. After the interrogation I was taken back to Ofer prison.
A few days later I had another military court hearing where I accepted a plea bargain because the lawyer told me if I accepted it I could go home. My family had to pay a NIS 1,000 fine and the military judge gave me a suspended sentence of four months in prison valid for five years. I was released on 7 November 2019 and I went home with my father. We arrived home at around 10:00 p.m.