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Home » Children »

Testimony: K.S.M.H.

 

Name: K.S.M.H.
Age: 15
Date: 14 February 2020
Location: Qalandiya, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
 
On 14 February 2020, a 15-year-old minor from Qalandiya refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers at noon. He reports being interrogated two times without being informed of all his legal rights on both occasions. 

I was near Qalandiya checkpoint at around noon when a group of soldiers grabbed me. They pushed me to the ground and one of them handcuffed me with my hands behind my back with metal handcuffs which were tight and painful. Then they took me into a pre-fabricated building and one of them beat me hard on the chest. They left me there until around 11:00 p.m. They did not tell me why they were detaining me or for how long.  

At around 11:00 p.m. I was taken in a police car to Atarot police station for interrogation. At Atarot I waited for about two hours and then I was taken to the interrogation room.
 
The interrogator wore civilian clothes. As soon as I entered the room the interrogator told me I had the right to consult with a lawyer and the right to remain silent. However, he did not call a lawyer for me. Then he questioned me about throwing stones and accused me of taking part. He did not provide dates of the incidents and I denied the accusation. He then claimed he had video footage of me throwing stones at the checkpoint and then he showed me some footage on his screen. Still I denied the accusation.
 
Then he lost his temper and pulled out his pistol and slammed it on the desk in front of him. I felt that this was a threatening gesture in an attempt to make me confess but I did not. Then he threatened to revoke work permits belonging to my family and told me it was better for me to confess. I did not confess. He questioned me for about one-and-a-half hours and in the end he showed me a document written in Hebrew and told me it was what I had told him. He asked me to sign it and I did; I thought I had to sign.
 
Then I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched and asked to crouch up and down while naked. Then I was taken to section 19. I arrived there at around 2:00 a.m. I ate and went to bed.
 
On Sunday I was taken to Ofer military court. My mother and lawyer attended the hearing which was adjourned. I had seven more military court hearings. During this time I was questioned again by an intelligence officer at Ofer. He questioned me about stone throwing without informing me of my rights or allowing me to speak to a lawyer. I continued to deny the accusation. At the conclusion of the interrogation I signed my statement in Hebrew without understanding it. The intelligence officer told me I had to sign.
 
At my last hearing in the military court, which was on the day I was released, I was offered a plea bargain of one month in prison and a fine of NIS 2,000. I was also given a suspended sentence valid for one year. I accepted the plea bargain because I wanted to go home. My family did not visit me in prison because I was released before the visiting permit was issued. 
 
I was released on 9 March 2020, and I took a taxi home because the prison authorities told my mother to wait at the wrong checkpoint. I arrived home in the evening.