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Home » Children »

Testimony: M.M.S.I.

 

Name:  M.M.S.I.
Age:  14
Date:  12 October 2022
Location:  Beit Sira, West Bank
Accustion:  Throwing stones

On 12 October 2022, a 14-year-old minor from Beit Sira was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 3:30 a.m. He reports briefly consulting with a lawyer prior to interrogation but not being informed of his right to silence.  

I was arrested from home at around 3:30 a.m. I was asleep when I heard loud banging at our front door. By the time I got out of bed many Israeli soldiers were already inside our home. I heard one of the soldiers call my name. He told my parents they wanted to arrest me and question me about stone throwing. The soldier gave my parents a document filled out in Hebrew and asked my father to sign it. They did not give us a copy of this document. 
 
The soldiers took away all our phones. Within about half-an-hour I was taken outside where my hands were tied to the front with two plastic ties on top of each other. The ties were a bit painful. I was then blindfolded before being led away on foot for about 30 minutes before being put in the back of a troop carrier. Inside I sat on a seat.
 
The soldiers inside the troop carrier made fun of me and the other boys and threatened to strip me.  We were then taken to the police station in Binyamin settlement where I was left outdoors for about three hours before being taken for interrogation.
 
The interrogator removed the blindfold but kept me tied. The interrogator phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him while he left the room. The lawyer told me not to confess and to persevere. The conversation lasted for about two minutes.
 
Then, without informing me of my right to silence, the interrogator asked me if I knew why I was in his office. When I told him I did not, he told me I was accused of throwing stones at the Wall during clashes. At first, I denied the accusation. 
 
The interrogator insisted I had to confess. He gave me a date in September and told me one of my friends had confessed against me. He then brought his face close to mine and shouted “confess, confess”. He was swearing and wanted me to confess against my friends. He asked me about one of my friends and wanted me to tell him what I knew about him. I told him his father had died when he was very young and that he stutters a bit.
 
At one point another interrogator came in and yelled at me urging me to confess. Then he opened the door and ordered me to strip. I refused to strip and confessed to throwing two stones at the wall. I was questioned for about one-and-a-half hours. I did not confess against my friends. 
 
Then the first interrogator asked me to sign lots of documents in Hebrew. I signed without understanding anything. Then I was taken to Ofer prison where I was searched in my boxer shorts before being taken to the section for children. The following day I had a military court hearing. My father attended and my detention was extended.
 
I had six more military court hearings. At the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to three months in prison and fined NIS 2,000. I was also given a suspended sentence for two years and an order that my parents had to pay another NIS 10,0000 if I'm arrested again. I accepted the plea bargain because my lawyer negotiated it. 
 
I spent the rest of my sentence at Ofer where I studied Hebrew and Arabic, watched television, helped in the kitchen and chatted to the other boys. I worried about my school work and my younger brother who had to undergo surgery in my absence. I did not have any family visits because the permit to visit was not issued in time. 
 
I was given early release and I was released on 4 December 2022. I was dumped someplace I did not know. I asked someone and he told me I was at Al Jib checkpoint. My parents were not informed of my release and they were not there so I called them and my father and uncle drove from the village to take me home. I arrived home at around 1:00 a.m.