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Testimony: M.B.H.

Name: M.B.H.
Age: 14 years
Date of incident: 5 June 2014
Location: Ya’bad, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
On 5 June 2014, a 14-year-old boy from Ya’bad, in the West Bank, is arrested with his friend off the street by Israeli soldiers at 9:30 p.m.
“I was walking with my friend in our town at around 9:30 p.m. Suddenly two Israeli military jeeps appeared. We saw the jeeps but did not run away because we had no reason to run. One of the jeeps pulled up and suddenly stopped. Three soldiers got out and immediately arrested me and my friend. One of the soldiers tied my hands to the front with three plastic ties: one around each wrist and one connecting them. The ties caused me a lot of pain. They also blindfolded me and pushed me into the back of the jeep and made me sit on a seat. They didn’t tell me why I was being arrested. The jeep stopped at the entrance of the town and waited for about an hour. The soldiers in the jeep were singing loudly and I felt as if they were making fun of me.”
“At around 10:30 p.m. the jeep drove to the nearby Israeli settlement of Mevo Dotan. I was taken out of the jeep and made to sit on the ground for about an hour. I was still tied and blindfolded. At around 11:30 p.m. I was taken to see a doctor. The doctor did not examine but asked me some questions about my health. I was then taken to a small storage room. I was still tied and blindfolded. My friend, who was arrested with me, was also in the room. We spent the night on the benches in that room but we didn’t sleep at all. The soldier who was guarding us did not allow us to sleep. Each time my friend and I fell asleep the soldier would either kick and slap us or take us outside for about 30 minutes before returning us to the room. We were given some water to drink but no food.”
At around 2:00 a.m. a soldier walked into the room and started to interrogate me. He wanted to know why I was in the area where I was arrested. He spoke good Arabic. I told him I going for a walk with my friend and that we didn’t do anything wrong. The soldier got very angry and started to swear at me. He said bad things about God and religion. He also motioned to hit me but backed off the last minute. Then he asked for my father’s telephone number and called him to get my identity card number.”
“Later that day, at around 2:00 p.m.I was taken to a jeep and pushed inside and made to sit on a seat. The jeep drove for about 30 minutes before it stopped. I was still tied and blindfolded. I was taken inside and found out I was in Salem military base. I was immediately taken into a room where the blindfold was removed and I was photographed. I was then taken to see another doctor who asked me some medical questions. I was then taken back to the jeep where I stayed for about an hour."
"At around 3:30 p.m. the jeep took me to Megiddo prison, inside Israel. For some reason I was not admitted to the prison and I was then taken back to Salem. At Salem I waited inside the jeep for about 30 minutes and then we drove back to Megiddo. It was now around 7:00 p.m. This time I was admitted into the prison. I was given a quick security check and then put in a cell with other children. I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in Megiddo prison.”
“On Monday, 9 June, at around 8:30 a.m., a soldier told me I was being taken to the military court. I was shackled and handcuffed and taken to another section in the prison. I was led into a room and realized I was going to be interrogated, not taken to court. The interrogator was wearing civilian clothes. I was in the room with him by myself. The interrogator started by asking me general questions. He wanted to know my name, my age and details about my family. He did not tell me I had the right to silence or the right to consult with a lawyer."
"The interrogator asked me why I was throwing stones in the area where I was arrested. I told him I wasn’t throwing stones and that I was walking with my friend. Then he claimed soldiers had taken photographs of me throwing stones. I asked him to show me the photographs. He then told me the photographs were taken by a satellite and therefore it wasn’t possible for him to show them to me. Then he told me that my friend had provided a confession against me. I told him this couldn’t be true. The interrogator got angry and started to shout at me . The interrogation lasted for about an hour. In the end the interrogator printed out my statement in Hebrew. He verbally translated it to me and asked me to sign it, which I did.”
“After the interrogation I was put in a vehicle. I was still shackled and handcuffed. The vehicle drove me a short distance to Salem military court where I was put in a waiting room for about 30 minutes. Then I was taken into the military court. My parents were not in court but there was a lawyer. The court hearing only lasted a few minutes and I was taken back to the waiting room for about 30 minutes before being taken back to court. This time the court hearing lasted much longer. An argument went on between the lawyer, the judge and the prosecutor. In the end I was taken back to the waiting room where I stayed until 7:30 p.m. when a soldier came to tell me the court had decided to release me. My father was waiting for me outside court and I went home with him. We arrived home at around 9:00 p.m. on 9 June. I later understood from the lawyer that the court found no justification for my arrest. The judge complained to the prosecutor for arresting me in the first place.”