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Testimony: R.T.A.

Name: R.T.A.
Age: 16 years
Date of incident: 23 April 2014
Location: Beit Ummar, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones/Molotov cocktails
On 23 April 2014, a 16-year-old boy from Beit Ummar, in the West Bank, is arrested at the conclusion of his interrogation. He is released on bail seven days later.
“On 22 April 2014, an Israeli intelligence officer from Etzion called my father on his mobile phone and told him to bring me for interrogation. He told my father if I didn’t show up the following day he would send soldiers to arrest me in the middle of the night. My father decided to consult a lawyer. The lawyer advised us to go and said he would accompany us. The following day, at around 11:00 a.m., I went to Etzion with my mother and the lawyer to meet with the interrogator, Yona Mizrahi. We went to see him at the police station at Etzion.”
“The interrogator, who wore civilian clothes, met us and took me to another room. The lawyer asked to accompany me together with my mother but the interrogator refused. The lawyer and my mother stayed in the waiting room and I went with the interrogator by myself. He made me sit on a chair and turned a tape recorder on. Before asking me any questions he showed me a text on his computer screen saying that I had the right to silence and that anything I say was going to be used against me in court. The text also said that I had the right to see a lawyer. I told the interrogator that I came with my lawyer but he didn’t comment. Then he started to interrogate me.”
“The interrogator told me I was accused of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at soldiers. I denied the accusation. Then he tried to extract information from me about other boys. I told him I didn’t have any information about anyone. Then he repeated the same accusation and I denied it again. He claimed that there were eye witnesses who saw me throwing stones. I asked him to name those witnesses but here refused. He did not beat me or threaten me. The interrogation lasted for about an hour. In the end he showed me a document written in Hebrew and asked me to sign it after explaining to me that it was exactly what I had told him, so I signed it.”
“After the interrogation he took me back to the waiting room where the lawyer and my mother were waiting. He told my mother to say goodbye to me because he was going to arrest me and transfer me to Ofer prison. The lawyer tried to intervene to prevent my arrest but the interrogator told him I was accused of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. Then a soldier took me to a prison cell in Etzion. I was in the prison cell by myself. I remained there from around noon until 9:00 p.m. There was a toilet in the room and soldiers brought me food in the afternoon. At 9:00 p.m. soldiers told me they were going to take me to Ofer prison. One of the soldiers handcuffed my hands to the front and shackled my legs. They took me in a military vehicle where I sat on a seat in the middle. Soldiers sat next to me. The vehicle drove for about two-and-a-half hours before it arrived at Ofer prison. It took much longer because the vehicle stopped many times on the way. We arrived at Ofer at around 12:30 a.m. On arrival I was told to take off my clothes but to leave my underwear on and I was searched. Then they gave me prison clothes and took me to Section 13 where I stayed with other prisoners my age. The prisoners gave me some food and I went to bed.”
“The later that morning, at around 8:00 a.m., a soldier told me I had a military court hearing. I waited in the court waiting room for about an hour. In court I saw my lawyer but my parents were not there. The lawyer asked for the hearing to be adjourned for two days. Two days later, on 26 April, I was taken back to court. My mother and my uncle were there in addition to the lawyer. I was allowed to speak to my mother and uncle across the court room. An argument went on between my lawyer and the judge about the charges against me which I had denied and the hearing was adjourned. Two days later, on 28 April, soldiers came and told me I was being taken elsewhere. I was shackled and handcuffed to the front with metal handcuffs and taken in a military vehicle. I was also blindfolded. I sat on a seat in the back of the vehicle. The vehicle drove for about one-and-a-half hours before it stopped and I was taken out. I later realised I was at the police station in Kiryat Arba settlement.”
“On arrival at the police station I was immediately taken to the interrogation room. A policeman in uniform told me he was going to interrogate me again. The blindfold was removed but the shackles and the handcuffs were kept on. I was in the room with the interrogator by myself. He told me I had the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer. He asked for my father’s telephone number and allowed me to speak to him when he called him. He told him I was at Kiryat Arba. I don’t recall whether there was a recorder or a camera in the room. The interrogator told me I was accused of throwing stones and a Molotov cocktail at soldiers and wanted me to confess. I denied the accusation but he continued to insist that I confess. He didn’t beat me or threaten me. The interrogation lasted for about half-an-hour. There was no change in my position and I continued to deny the accusation. I wasn’t given anything to sign. I was taken back in a military vehicle to Ofer prison. I was made to sit on the seat and I was still shackled and handcuffed. They also blindfolded me again.”
“A few days later I was taken back to Ofer military court. I waited in the waiting room. At around noon a female soldier called my name and told me I was going to be released. I remained there until 4:00 p.m. and then I was released. My father was waiting for me outside the prison. He told me the lawyer was able to get me released on bail after he paid 1,000 shekels. I was assigned another military court hearing on 3 March 2015.”