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Testimony: A.A.A.

 Name:  A.A.A.
 Age:  17 years
 Date of incident:
 21 January 2015
 Location:  At Tabaqa, West Bank
 Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 21 January 2015, a 17-year-old youth from At Tabaqa is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2.00 a.m. He is released on bail on 6 February 2015. 

“I was asleep when my mother woke me up and told me Israeli soldiers had come to the house to arrest me. It was 2.00 a.m. I got up and went to where the soldiers were. The soldiers asked me for my ID card but I didn’t have one so I showed them my birth certificate. A soldier then told me to get dressed because they were going to arrest me. They gave my father a document with details about my arrest including where they were going to take me for interrogation.”
“Soldiers then took me outside the house towards the centre of town where the jeeps were waiting. When we got there I was tied to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and one connecting the two. The ties were not painful. I was also blindfolded and taken to the back of a jeep where they made me sit on the metal floor. The jeep drove for about 10 minutes before stopping. I was put in a shipping container. I was able to see from under the blindfold that I was at the nearby Israeli military base. Inside the container they made me sit on the floor until later that morning. There were soldiers in the container and other detainees. I couldn’t sleep all night and I wasn’t allowed to use the bathroom. I also wasn’t given any food.”
“Later that morning I was put in a troop carrier where I sat on a seat. There were other detainees in the carrier. I was still tied and blindfolded. The carrier drove for about an hour before it stopped at the Israeli police station inside Etzion settlement. Some of the older detainees were dropped off at Etzion and the carrier drove away for another 30 minutes. I was taken out and soldiers told me we were at the settlement of Kiryat Arba. I was taken to a courtyard where I sat on the ground. I remained there for about two hours. An interrogator then took me to a room for questioning.”
“The interrogator wore civilian clothes and had a tape recorder in front of him. He sat me down on a chair and removed the blindfold but the ties were not removed. He did not inform me of my right to silence or of my right to see a lawyer and immediately started to interrogate me. He accused me of throwing stones at soldiers and showed me a photograph. I told him the person in the picture was not me. The interrogator got angry and shouted at me and told me I was a liar. He then showed me photographs of other people and asked me to tell him their names. I told him I didn’t know them. The interrogator was holding a cup of coffee and he deliberately spilt it on me. My clothes got dirty. He then accused me of throwing Molotov cocktails and explosive pipes at soldiers. I told him this was not true. The interrogation lasted for about an hour. The interrogator then printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it but I refused. He then took me to an Israeli policeman who resumed the interrogation.”
“The policeman did not inform me of my right to silence or of my right to see a lawyer. He accused me of the same accusations. I denied the accusations and told him I did not throw stones at soldiers or anyone else. He then asked me for my father’s telephone number and told my father to appoint a lawyer and that I was detained at Kiryat Arba. I was then photographed and fingerprinted and taken back to the courtyard where I sat on the ground until around 3.00 p.m.”
“At around 3.00 p.m. a soldier blindfolded me and took me to the back of a jeep. The jeep drove for about 30 minutes before it stopped at the police station inside the settlement of Etzion. I was taken to a room and was given some food to eat. I remained in the room until around 9.00 p.m. I was then handcuffed and put in the back of a troop carrier where I sat on a seat. The carrier drove for about an hour before it arrived at Ofer prison, near Ramallah.”

“At Ofer I was strip searched. I was given prison clothes and taken into Section 13. On the 23 January I had a military court hearing. A lawyer was there but my parents were not. The hearing was adjourned until the following Monday. At the second military court hearing the judge wanted to release me on bail but my parents refused to pay the 1,000 shekels. The hearing was adjourned until Wednesday. On Wednesday the bail money was reduced to 500 shekels which my parents accepted. I was released on Friday, 6 February 2015. I took a taxi home by myself.”