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Testimony: M.A.M.I.


Name:  M.A.M.I.
Age:  16
Date:  24 February 2019
Location:  Al Khader, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 24 February 2019, a 16-year-old minor from Al Khader was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 a.m. He reports being interrogated without first being informed of his right to consult with a lawyer or his right to silence.

A friend phoned my father at around 1:00 a.m. and told him soldiers were in our neighbourhood. My father woke me up and told me the news. At around 3:00 a.m. a large number of soldiers surrounded our home. The soldiers banged on our front door and my father opened it for them. 
About 20 soldiers entered our home. The commander asked my father for me. The commander then took my father into another room and spoke to him. Then the soldiers went to my bedroom and searched it. They took out clothes from the wardrobe and searched under the mattress. Then they told me to get dressed and immediately took me outside. On leaving the soldiers gave my father a document with my name written in Arabic. The document said I was accused of throwing stones but did not say where I was going to be taken.
Outside the house my hands were tied behind my back with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were tight and painful and left marks on my wrists for days. Then they blindfolded me and walked me towards the mosque where military jeeps were waiting. I was taken to the back of one of the jeeps where I sat on the metal floor between soldiers’ legs. They pushed my head down in an uncomfortable position and each time I lifted my head up soldiers slapped me and swore at me calling me “a son of a whore”. 
The jeep drove to a place I did not recognise and I was given a medical examination. The doctor removed the blindfold during the examination and put back on later. Then I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the blindfold and the ties and told me I was a terrorist. Then he told me he was going to revoke my father’s work permit if I did not confess. He also threatened to lock me up in cells in solitary confinement if I did not confess. He accused me of throwing stones at soldiers on Route 60 and wanted me to confess. When I denied the accusation he thumped the table aggressively and raised his voice as he repeated the accusation. He held me by the shoulder and pressed hard.
Then he brought in a friend of mine whom they had arrested and the two of us confessed against ourselves and each other. The interrogation lasted for about three hours but half way through the interrogation the interrogator phoned a lawyer and handed the telephone over to me. The lawyer told me not to be afraid and not to worry and that he was my lawyer. Nobody informed me of my right to silence.
At the end of the interrogation I was shown a document in Hebrew and asked me to sign it but I refused. Then he told me he had written exactly what I had told him and urged me to sign and I did. Then he took my photograph and fingerprints and took me to a cell where I was strip searched. 
In the evening I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched again before being taken to section 13. 
The following day I had a military court hearing which my mother and aunt attended. I was denied bail and the hearing was adjourned. I had about 12 military court hearings and at the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to six months and one day in prison and fined NIS 2,000. I was also given a suspended sentence of 10 months in prison valid for three years. I accepted the plea bargain because my lawyer told me it was a good bargain and he urged me to accept it.
I spent my prison sentence at Ofer where I attended Arabic and Hebrew classes. I was in charge of the canteen which kept me busy. My parents visited me four times. I was released on 4 August 2019 from Ofer and I went home with my relatives. I arrived home after sunset.