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Home » Children »

Testimony: A.R.N.

 

Name: A.R.N.
Age: 15
Date of incident: 4 February 2015
Location: Dura, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
 
On 4 February 2015, a 15-year-old youth from Dura is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2.00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones.
 
“My father woke me up after soldiers banged at the door and shouted at us to open the door. It was around 2.00 a.m. When my father answered about 10 Israeli soldiers entered the house and asked for me. They told my father they were going to arrest me. They did not give my father any documents and did not tell him why they were arresting me and where they were going to take me.”
 
”The soldiers asked me to get dressed and immediately took me outside the house where they blindfolded me and tied my hands to the front with one plastic tie. The tie was very tight and painful.”
 
“They walked me for about 15 minutes towards the main road where military jeeps were waiting. I was put in the back of a jeep where I sat on the floor. The jeep drove for about 15 minutes and stopped at the nearby military camp. Soldiers slapped and kicked me on the way.”
 
“I was taken to see a doctor. The soldiers searched me and removed the blindfold before the doctor examined me. The doctor gave me a form to fill out. I was then taken to the courtyard where I sat on a bench. I was blindfolded again. I remained out in the cold until around 7.00 a.m. There were soldiers guarding me and they allowed me to use the bathroom and to drink water.”
 
“At around 7.00 a.m. I was put back in the jeep where I sat on the floor. The jeep drove to the settlement of Kiryat Arba. We arrived at Kiryat Arba at around 8.00 a.m. I was immediately taken into a room and asked to sit on a chair. The soldiers told me to bend my head over and to remain in that position and not to move. I remained in that position until around noon when an interrogator took me to the interrogation room.”
 
“The interrogator wore civilian clothes. He did not tell me about any rights. He removed the blindfold and accused me of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at soldiers. I denied the accusation and told him I didn’t throw stones at anyone. At this point he got angry and slapped me. He blindfolded me again and continued to interrogate me while I was tied and blindfolded. He then removed the blindfold and showed me pictures he claimed were of me throwing stones.”
 
“He then told me other boys had told him I was throwing stones with them. I told him this was not true. I also asked him to confront me with those boys but he never did. The first round of interrogation lasted for about 30 minutes. I was then taken out where I sat on a chair. An hour later another interrogator took me for another round of interrogation.”
 
“There were two other interrogators in the interrogation room but the one who brought me in was leading. The other two intervened occasionally. The interrogator removed the blindfold but kept the tie. They did not inform me of any rights.”
 
“The main interrogator accused me of throwing stones at soldiers. When I denied the accusation one of the interrogators slapped me on the back of my neck. The second round lasted for about an hour. In the end I was scared and confessed to throwing stones. I also realized that the pictures I was shown left me no choice other than to confess.”
 
“The interrogator printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it but I refused. I was then photographed and fingerprinted and taken back to a room where I was blindfolded again. I remained in the room until around 2.00 a.m. During this time I was allowed to use the bathroom and to drink but I wasn’t given anything to eat.”
 
“At around 2.00 a.m. I was put in a jeep and sat on the floor. The jeep drove for about 30 minutes to the police station in Etzion settlement. At Etzion I was strip searched and taken to a prison cell where I was by myself. The blindfold and the tie were removed.”
 
“I remained in the cell until around 9.00 a.m. when I was shackled and handcuffed and taken to Ofer prison, near Ramallah. I was immediately taken to Ofer military court. A lawyer was in court to represent me but my parents didn’t come. The hearing was adjourned. I had about seven other hearings. My parents attended all the rest.”
 
“The prosecutor requested five months imprisonment and 3,000 shekels fine. I changed my lawyer and she accepted a plea bargain of three months in prison and 2,000 shekels fine. The plea bargain also included a suspended sentence of six months in prison valid for five years.”
 
“The lawyer told the court that she saw the video recording of my interrogation and that it was clear from the footage that I was beaten by the interrogators. The judge did not pay any attention to what she told him.”
 
“In prison I studied history and cultural studies. I was released from Ofer on 29 April 2015 at around 7.00 p.m.”