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Testimony: O.M.A.T.


Name: O.M.A.T.
Age: 15
Date: 19 August 2018
Location: Tuqu, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 19 August 2018, a 15-year-old youth from Tuqu is served with a summons by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. In accordance with the summons the boy attends an interrogation but reports not being informed of his legal rights prior to questioning. 

I woke up at around 2:00 a.m. when I heard loud banging at the front door. My father answered the door and about 20 Israeli soldiers entered our home. They gathered all of us, 8 people in all, in one room. Then the commander handed me a summons and took a picture of me holding it. The summons was in Arabic and said I had to show up at the police station in Etzion settlement at 8:00 a.m.
Later that morning, at around 7:30 a.m., my uncle and I were outside the police station as directed in the summons.  We waited outside for about 2 hours and then I was blindfolded and taken for interrogation without my uncle. 
As soon as I entered the interrogation room the interrogator removed the blindfold and tied my hands to the front with two plastic ties on top of each other. The ties were not painful. The interrogator had a voice recorder but he did not inform me of my rights and told me he had a confession against me by another boy that I was involved in throwing stones. I denied the accusation. Then he showed me photographic images of clashes and accused me of taking part but I denied it. 
Half way through the interrogation I asked to see a lawyer. The interrogator called a lawyer but the lawyer did not pick up the telephone. He called another lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to confess and that my first military court hearing would be the following day. Neither the lawyer nor the interrogator said anything about my right to silence. 
The interrogator was calm and questioned me for about an hour and I denied the accusation. My answers were short and I told him I did not know. He tried to get the names of the boys in the photographs from me but I refused to give any names. He did not show me any documents and did not ask me to sign anything. 
After the interrogation he took my fingerprints and my photograph and then I was taken to a prison cell where I was strip searched and a soldier removed the hand ties. I was given some potatoes and bread and I managed to sleep for about 5 hours. At around 7:00 p.m. I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched again before being taken to Section 13. 
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents did not attend the hearing because they were not informed and the hearing was adjourned. In all I had about 8 military court hearings.
At my last military court hearing I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 2.5 months in prison and fined 2,000 shekels. I was also given a suspended sentence of one year in prison valid for 5 years. I accepted a plea bargain because I was sentenced one day before I would be released under the deal. I was told that if I did not accept the plea bargain I would have had to remain in prison much longer.
My parents visited me only once because it took a long time for their permit to be issued. I spent my time at Ofer where I played table tennis. I was released on the 26 October 2018 and I went home with my brother. It was a cold and rainy evening and I went to bed early.