|Date:||26 January 2022|
|Location:||Azzun, West Bank|
On 26 January 2022, a 15-year-old minor from Azzun was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 4:00 p.m. during clashes and accused of throwing stones. He reports ill treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He was sentenced to 5 months in prison as well as a suspended sentence.
I was grabbed by Israeli soldiers on the main road at around 4:00 p.m. At the time there were clashes taking place between soldiers and Palestinians. One of them swore at me and then tied my hands to the front with one plastic tie which was not tight. Then he blindfolded me and walked me towards the nearby settlement.
When we arrived at the settlement I was left in a shipping container for about 10 hours. I sat on a chair and I could not sleep. The soldiers brought me some water but no food. A soldier slapped me on my face as he went by.
At around 2:00 a.m. I was taken to Megiddo prison, inside Israel. On arrival I was strip searched before being taken to the minors’ section. The following morning I was taken to Salem for interrogation.
I was handcuffed but I was not blindfolded when I was taken into the interrogation room. The interrogator wore an Israeli police uniform and had a camera in the room. Before asking me any questions he phoned a lawyer for me. The lawyer told me he would contact my parents and tell them where I was. We spoke for a couple of minutes while the interrogator was listening.
Then, without informing me of my right to silence, the interrogator accused me of throwing stones at settlers on the main road a few days earlier. I denied the accusation. The interrogator then yelled at me and told me I was a liar and showed me video footage of the incident. Then he threatened to lock me up in prison for a year of I did not confess. He questioned me for about 30 minutes.
In the end I gave a confession but I told the interrogator the incident occurred a couple of years ago and not recently. The interrogator then asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew. I signed after I made sure it said I threw stones at settlers a while ago. After the interrogation I was taken back to Megiddo.
My first military court hearing was two days after the interrogation. It was on zoom and my brother attended. Four days later I was taken for another interrogation.
I did not speak to a lawyer and was not informed of my right to silence during my second interrogation. The interrogator made me repeat what I had told the first interrogator. He questioned me for about 30 minutes and did not ask me to sign any documents. A few days later I was interrogated a third time. I did not have access to a lawyer and was not informed of my right to silence. The interrogator asked me similar questions and did not ask me to sign any documents.
Three days later I was interrogated for the fourth time. The interrogator phoned a lawyer for me. The lawyer told me I was going to be released soon and that he would see me in court. He also told me I had the right to remain silent. The interrogator did not inform me of my right to silence and asked me questions about other boys in the village. He did not ask me to sign any documents.
In all I had about 15 court hearings. At the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to five months in prison and an additional year suspended for three years. I did not have to pay any fines.
I was released at Salem on 2 June 2022, and I went home with my father and uncle. I arrived home at around 7:00 p.m. In prison I worked in the kitchen and attended classes in Arabic, Hebrew and mathematics. My parents visited me three times.