|Date:||29 October 2018|
|Location:||Azzun, West Bank|
On 29 October 2018, a 15-year-old youth from Azzun is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 4:30 p.m. during clashes. He reports being beaten and interrogated without being informed of his right to silence.
I was on my way to school to work on my writing project when I saw clashes between Israeli soldiers and boys from the town. It was around 4:30 p.m.
When I saw the clashes I changed my mind and decided to go back home but then two soldiers approached and grabbed me and started to beat me all over. I was in pain. Then they tied my hands to the front with two plastic ties which were tight and painful. Then they threw me on the ground and blindfolded me.
The soldiers continued to beat me until the commander came and told the soldiers to take me to a jeep. The soldiers threw me into the back of a jeep where I sat on the metal floor and the jeep drove towards the gate at the entrance to the village.
At the gate the commander removed the blindfold and asked me why I was taking part in the clashes and I told him I was not. He did not inform me of my rights and when I told him I was not taking part in the clashes he told me to shut up. Then he blindfolded me again and the soldiers took me back to the jeep which drove to the nearby settlement of Qarne Shomron. I was left outside and a dog started to sniff me while I was blindfolded and I was scared of the dog.
About 10 minutes later I was taken to a room until around 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. I was left on the floor and I was not given anything to eat or drink and I was not allowed to use the toilet.
Then I was taken in a vehicle to the nearby military base at Zufin. At the base I was examined by a doctor who asked me whether I was beaten by soldiers and I told him I was. I think he wrote it down on a piece of paper. The doctor removed the blindfold during the examination and put it back on when he was finished. Then he took my blood pressure.
After the medical check I was taken outside where soldiers made fun of me and called me “a son of a whore”. I remained there until around 3:00 a.m.
At around 3:00 a.m. I was taken inside where I sat on the floor until later that morning. I managed to sleep for about half an hour because I was very tired. During this time I was allowed to use the toilet but I was not given any food or drink.
At around 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. I was taken to the police station in Ariel settlement for interrogation. I waited until around 3:00 p.m. before it was my turn to be interrogated. I was still without any food or drink and still tied and blindfolded
The interrogator removed the blindfold and the ties. He was in civilian clothes and had a computer and a smart phone on his desk. He also had a camera and a voice recorder which he turned on. As soon as I entered the room he told me I had the right to consult with a lawyer either before interrogation or in court. I told him I wanted a lawyer in court. He did not mention anything about my right to silence.
The interrogator accused me of throwing stones at security forces. I denied the accusation and told him I did not throw anything at security forces. Then he told me there was evidence against me from soldiers.
He repeated the accusation again and again and I kept denying it. He then threatened to put my mother and father in prison if I did not confess. He told me soldiers saw me throwing stones and I told him that could not be true. Then he told me I was going to remain in detention and that he was going to transfer me to Huwwara military base.
Half way through the interrogation he called my father and told him I had a court hearing the following day. The interrogation lasted for about 2 hours. In the end I was so tired and worried about my parents that I decided to confess to throwing 2 stones which missed from a distance of 500 meters
After the interrogation the interrogator showed me documents written in Hebrew and asked me to sign them but I told him I did not read or write Hebrew and I was not going to sign anything I did not understand. Then he printed the documents in both Hebrew and Arabic and I read them and saw they were accurate so I signed.
Then they took my photograph and fingerprints and then took me to Huwwara military base. At the base I was searched in my underwear and then I was taken to a cell where I spent a night and I was given some food and drink.
I slept until the morning when I was woken up and taken to Salem military court. My parents were not allowed into the court room although they were waiting outside so I did not get to see them. My detention was extended and the hearing was adjourned. After court I was taken to Megiddo prison inside Israel where I was searched in my underwear.
In all I had three military court hearings. At the last hearing I accepted a plea bargain of 5 months in prison and a fine of 2,000 shekels. I also received a suspended sentence of 6 months in prison valid for 3 years. I accepted the plea bargain because the sentence would have been longer. I also wanted to be sentenced as soon as possible and not accepting the plea bargain would have meant more court hearings and more delays.
I spent my entire prison sentence at Megiddo prison where I attended classes and studied Arabic, Hebrew and Mathematics. My parents visited me once because it took a long time for the permit to be issued. For a whole month I did not have any contact with my parents.
I was released on the 22 January 2019, about two months earlier. They gave me an administrative reduction in my sentence because of overcrowding in the prison.
I was released at Al Jalama checkpoint and I went home with my father. We arrived home at around 7:30 p.m. I found it hard in prison; I did not like how crowded it was. I also found it humiliating, especially when the prison guards woke us up in the middle of the night to count and search us.
The other day soldiers were in the village and I could not sleep that night; I am still very scared of them.