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Home » Children »

Testimony: A.I.A.A.

 

Name:  A.I.A.A.
Age:  16
Date:  18 March 2018
Location:  Al Mughayyir, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones / protesting
 
On 18 March 2018, a 16-year-old youth from Al Mughayyir is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:30 a.m. He reports being interrogated without first being informed of his right to silence or right to consult with a lawyer.
 
My mother woke me up at 2:30 a.m. after she saw an Israeli soldier looking through her bedroom window. She was terrified. Then we heard loud banging at our front door. It sounded like someone was trying to break the door down. I quickly ran and opened the door before it was broken.
 
As soon as I opened the front door a group of soldiers stormed in. They pointed their guns at me and pushed me to the ground. About 10 soldiers entered our home; one soldier wore a mask.
 
The soldiers gathered my parents and siblings in the living room and did not allow them to leave. They separated me from the rest of the family and sat me down in the hallway and took my telephone. Then they searched the house but did not cause any damage. 
 
After the soldiers had searched our home they tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was very tight and panful and left marks on my wrists. Then the commander told my father they wanted to take me for a chat over a cup of coffee. He gave my father a document written in Hebrew which he did not understand and asked him to sign it and he did. They did not tell my father what was written in the document and did not give him a copy.
 
The soldiers then took me outside and my mother followed me with my shoes because they did not give me enough time to put them on. Outside the house they blindfolded me and walked me towards the main road. They walked me for about 15 minutes pushing me and I fell to the ground. 
 
After walking for about 15 minutes I was put in the back of a jeep and made me sit on the metal floor. Inside the jeep soldiers shouted at me and kicked me on the back and legs. They also beat me on my legs with the backs of their guns. They also swore at me and called my mother and sister “whores.”
 
The jeep drove to a nearby military base where I was taken to a shipping container. Inside the container soldiers slapped me and I could not sleep. I was left on the floor of the container. They brought me some water but I did not drink. Later I was examined by a doctor. 
 
At some point the commander told me I was arrested because I was throwing stones and told me if I cooperated with them the whole thing would be quick and they would not have to take me to Ofer prison. I told him I did not throw stones.
 
At around 10:00 a.m. I was taken to the police station inside Binyamin settlement where I waited in a room for about 5 hours. During this time I was allowed to use the toilet once and I was not given anything to eat or drink. Then I was taken for interrogation.
 
The interrogator was in police uniform. He removed the blindfold and the hand tie. Then he showed me a picture of clashes and pointed to one of the boys in the picture and told me it was me. I denied it. Then he shouted at me and threatened to bring my father and said he would have him confess that it was me in the picture. I was scared and so I signed my name on one picture as an acknowledgment and a confession. 
 
After I had confessed the interrogator told me I had the right to remain silence and that he was going to appoint me a lawyer. Then he called my father and told him to appoint me a lawyer. The interrogation lasted for about 15 minutes. In the end he showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them and I did without understanding what they said. 
 
After the interrogation they took my photograph and fingerprints and took me back to the waiting room. At around 4:00 p.m. I was taken to Ofer prison where I was searched in my underwear before being taken to Section 13.
 
Two days later I was taken to Ofer military court where I spoke to a lawyer for the first time. My parents did not attend because they were not informed. The hearing was adjourned and I was taken back to prison. 
 
I had  about 7 military court hearings and at the last one I confessed to throwing stones during protests and in return I was offered a plea bargain and I was sentenced to 5 months in prison and fined 3,000 shekels fine. In addition I was given a suspended sentence of 8 months valid for 5 years. I accepted the plea bargain because it meant my prison sentence was reduced.
 
I spent my prison sentence at Ofer where I played table tennis and attended Arabic and mathematic classes. I was released on 2 August 2018 and I went home with my father and brother. My friends organised a party for me and took me around the village in a convoy of cars.  My parents visited me only twice in prison because it took a long time for their permit to be issued.