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Testimony: A.A.I.B.


Name:  A.A.I.B.
Age:  17
Date:  14 February 2019
Location:  An Nabi Saleh, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 14 February 2019, a 17-year-old minor from Beit Rema was arrested by Israeli soldiers in a nearby village close to a settlement at 9:00 p.m. He reports being informed of his right to silence but not consulting with a lawyer before interrogation.

I was with my friend on a hill opposite the settlement of Halamish when we were ambushed by a group of Israeli soldiers. It was around 9:00 p.m.

The soldiers fired some shots and yelled at us to stop as we tried to run away. I was scared and stopped immediately. Four soldiers approached me and one of them pushed me down and tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was very tight and painful. It left marks on my wrists for days. Another soldier beat me on my back and pushed me face down on the ground and then blindfolded me. I was left there for about 30 minutes.

After about 30 minutes I was taken in a vehicle to a nearby military base. At the base a military doctor removed the blindfold and asked me some questions about my health. Then he re-blindfolded and I was left in a shipping container for about two hours.

After about two hours I was taken to the police station near the settlement of Ni’ilin. At the police station I was left on a chair for about two hours before being taken for interrogation. By then it was after midnight.

The interrogator, who spoke to me via an interpreter, removed the blindfold and told me I had the right to remain silent. Then she asked me whether I knew why I was in her office and then accused me of throwing stones at settler cars. She told me soldiers saw me throwing stones and a settler and his wife also testified against me. I denied the accusation. I felt if I remained silent the interrogator would have interpreted it as an acknowledgement of guilt.

At the end of the interrogation the interrogator phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me I had a military court hearing on Sunday. He asked me for my parents’ phone number and told me he was going to call them. The conversation lasted for about a minute and the interrogator was listening.

I was interrogated for about 30 minutes and the interrogator was calm but the interpreter was aggressive and shouted at me when I denied the accusation. I was not given any documents to sign.

After the interrogation I was taken to Ofer prison. We arrived at the prison at around 3:30 a.m. but I was left in a waiting room until around 9:00 a.m. At around 9:00 a.m. I was searched in my underwear before being taken to section 13.

On Sunday I was taken to a military court. My parents were there and I was denied bail. I had about eight military court hearings and at the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to eight months in prison and fined NIS 4,000. I was also given a suspended sentence of one year in prison valid for three years. I accepted the plea bargain because my lawyer told me the prosecutor was asking for three years in prison.

I spent me sentence at Ofer where I studied for my final high school exams. My parents visited me four times. I was released on 22 September 2019 and I went home with my father. I arrived home in the evening.