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Home » Children »

Testimony: A.A.M.A.

 

Name: A.A.M.A.
Age: 15
Date: 16 April 2019
Location: Aida camp, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
 
On 16 April 2019, a 15-year-old minor from Aida refugee camp is arrested by an Israeli soldier while playing soccer at 5:30 p.m. The minor was interrogated in the presence of his father but he was not informed of his right to silence or a lawyer.
 
I was playing soccer with my friends at the park when all of a sudden an Israeli soldier jumped out of a military jeep and arrested me and another boy. It was around 5:30 p.m. I was shocked as there were no clashes in the area at the time. 
 
The soldier swore at me and called me “a son of a whore”. Then he took me to the back of the jeep where I sat on a seat. The jeep then drove to a nearby military base at Rachel’s Tomb. I was taken into a military watchtower where I was left for about 30 minutes. My parents came to the watchtower and tried to get me released but they did not succeed.
 
After 30 minutes I was put in a troop carrier and taken to Atarot police station. My parents were allowed to accompany me. At Atarot we were left in an outdoor shed until around 1:30 a.m. I was cold and tired. Then an interrogator took me to the interrogation room and allowed my father to accompany me. 
 
As soon as we entered the room the interrogator told my father he was not allowed to speak or intervene. He told him to sit down and listen and not say a word; otherwise he was going to kick him out of the room. The interrogator was wearing civilian clothes and had a camera in the room. He spoke via an interpreter.
 
Without informing me of my rights he turned his laptop screen towards me and showed me images of people I did not know and asked me to tell him who they were. I told him I had no idea who these people were. He asked me again whether I knew them and when I told him I did not he lost his temper and shouted at me. My father objected and the interrogator threatened to kick my father out. 
 
Then the interrogator accused me of throwing stones at soldiers and I denied it. I told him I was playing soccer and the soldier arrested me from the soccer field. Then he told me I had two choices: I either confessed to throwing stones or give him names of 3 boys who throw stones. He showed me the photographic images again and raised his voice at me urging me to give him names. My father intervened and told the interrogator I was playing soccer and the interrogator threatened to kick him out of the room if he did not shut up. I was interrogated for about 30 minutes and I did not confess.
 
At the end of the questioning the interrogator brought documents written in Hebrew and asked me to sign them and I did although I did not understand what they said. My father told me not to sign but I was too scared of the interrogator and did not want him to shout at me anymore so I signed. Then he told my father to leave. 
 
After my father left I was handcuffed to the front with metal handcuffs, which were not painful, and I was taken in a jeep to Ofer prison. I arrived there at around 2:30 a.m. I was strip searched and then taken to Section 13. 
 
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court and I saw my lawyer for the first time. My father attended the hearing and the military judge refused to release me on bail. After court I was taken back to prison. 
 
I had two more court hearings and at the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to two months in prison and fined NIS 3,000. I was also given a six-month suspended sentence valid for two years. I accepted the plea bargain because my lawyer told me they would sentence me to six months in prison if I rejected the plea bargain. My lawyer told me the evidence against me was from two soldiers. 
 
I was released on 26 May 2019 after the court granted me an early release. My parents were waiting for me outside Ofer and I went home with them. My father does not allow me to play soccer at the park anymore and I am too scared to go. I want to focus on my school and I cannot afford to be arrested again especially since I have a suspended sentence.