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Testimony: A.M.T.A.


Name: A.M.T.A.
Age: 15
Date: 11 May 2017
Location: Kufr Qaddum, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 11 May 2017, a 15-year-old youth from Kufr Qaddum is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones. He reports requesting to see a lawyer prior to interrogation but was told all the lawyers were on strike.

I woke up at around 3:00 a.m. to the sound of strangers inside our home. I got up and went to the living room where a group of Israeli soldiers were asking my father for me. When I identified myself the soldiers told me to get dressed because they were going to take me for questioning. They did not give us any written documents and did not give a reason for my arrest. The soldiers had a camera with them and were documenting the arrest. 
Once I was dressed the soldiers took me outside and made me walk for about 15 minutes towards a military jeep. At the jeep they shackled and handcuffed me to the front with metal handcuffs. The handcuffs were tight. Then they put me in the back of the jeep and made me sit on the floor. The jeep drove a short distance to the nearby settlement of Qedumim. 
At Qedumim I was taken to a courtyard. I asked the soldiers to release the handcuffs as they were causing me pain but instead a soldier slapped me. Then I was examined by a doctor who asked me some medical questions. I remained at the settlement until around 7:00 a.m.
At around 7:00 a.m. I was taken back to the jeep where I sat on the floor again. The jeep drove for about 30 minutes to the police station in Ariel settlement. At Ariel I was put in a courtyard where I sat on a chair until around 2:00 p.m. I asked several times to use the toilet and they finally allowed me to use it when they realised I was desperate. Then I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator questioned me while I was handcuffed. He asked me to sign a document which said I had the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer. I told the interrogator I wanted to see a lawyer but he told me the lawyers were on strike. The interrogator then accused me of throwing stones at soldiers and showed me a picture of a boy throwing stones and told me the boy was me. I denied it was me and told him I did not throw stones at soldiers. At this pointed he raised his voice at me and repeated the accusation. I continued to deny it. I was interrogated for about 30 minutes and then I was taken back to the courtyard for about 15 minutes and then I was interrogated again.
The interrogator repeated the same accusations and I continued to deny them. In the end he showed me a document written in Hebrew and told me it was my statement and asked me to sign it. I refused to sign. Then he took my photograph and fingerprints.
I was then blindfolded and taken to a police car where I sat on a seat and the car drove for about an hour to Huwwara military base. At Huwwara I was searched in my underwear and then I was taken to a cell where they removed the handcuffs and the blindfold and I spent a night.
The following morning I was shackled and handcuffed and taken to a troop carrier which took me to the military court at Salem. My parents were not in the military court because they were not informed of my appearance but a lawyer was there. The hearing was adjourned and I was taken to Megiddo prison inside Israel.
At Megiddo I was searched in my clothes and then taken to the juvenile section. A few days later I was taken back to the military court but the hearing was adjourned because the judge wanted the soldier who claimed to have seen me throwing stones to appear as a witness.
The soldier did not show up at the next hearing and the judge decided to release me on bail for lack of evidence. My parents had to pay 1,000 shekels in bail. I was released on 25 May 2017 at Salem and I went home with my parents.