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Testimony: K.W.H.B.


Name:  K.W.H.B.
Age:  15
Date:  13 February 2019
Location:  Beit Ummar, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 13 February 2019, a 15-year-old minor from Beit Ummar was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at midnight and accused of throwing stones. He reports ill treatment. He reports consulting with a lawyer prior to interrogation but not being informed of his right to silence by the interrogator. He reports being released without charge 13 hours after he was arrested. 

I walked home at around midnight after visiting a friend. When I got home I went to my bedroom and was about to check my smart phone when I heard loud banging at the front door. I then heard military jeeps around our house. 
My father asked me to answer the door so I went downstairs and my father followed me. I opened the door and the Israeli commander walked in with a group of soldiers. He asked me how I was and wanted to shake hands with me but I refused. 
Then the commander and the soldiers went upstairs and went straight to my bedroom and took some of my clothes; my trousers, a T-shirt, a pair of boots and a baseball cap. I later realised the commander had a photograph of me wearing similar clothes.  
The commander wanted to give me a summons to turn myself in but I told him I was not going to comply. He then told me he was going to arrest me. 
I was then taken outside and the soldiers walked me a short distance. Along the way they kicked me and beat me with the back of their guns. Then I was blindfolded and tied to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were unbearably painful. 
Then I was taken to the back of a troop carrier where I was dumped on the metal floor. Inside the troop carrier soldiers slapped me on the back of my head and kicked me. 
The troop carrier drove to a place I think somewhere around Jerusalem, possibly a settlement or a military base, where a doctor was going to examine me, but then he refused to examine me because the soldiers did not allow him to remove the ties and the blindfold. 
I was then taken outside and left in the troop carrier for a couple of hours after which I was driven to the police station in Etzion settlement for interrogation. At Etzion I waited in a room until around 10:00 a.m. when I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator called me by my name and asked me how I was. He removed the ties and blindfold and told me I was causing him a lot of trouble, so much so that his hair was turning white. Then he accused me of throwing stones at soldiers during clashes in the village. I told him I had already spent time in prison for that charge. 
Then I told the interrogator I wanted to speak to my lawyer and he allowed me to via phone. After I spoke to my lawyer she spoke to the interrogator and told him I had already been in prison for that charge. I could hear that she was agitated and her voice was assertive. 
After speaking to the lawyer the interrogator asked me whether I had a suspended sentence from the time I had spent in prison and I told him I did. I felt he wanted to lock me up in prison no matter what. Throughout the interrogation the interrogator did not say anything about my right to silence but my lawyer told me to remain silent when I spoke to her.
The interrogation lasted for about 10-15 minutes. In the end the interrogator showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them but I refused to sign. Then I was taken to another room where I remained until around 1:30 p.m. 
At around 1:30 p.m. the interrogator came to the room, patted me on the back and told me to be sensible and not cause any more trouble, otherwise I was going to waste my life. He claimed I threw stones and Molotov cocktails in the area and told me to stop such acts. Then he told me I could go home. 
I went home with people from my village who were at the police station who agreed to give me a lift home.