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Testimony: M.R.I.A.


Name: M.R.I.A.
Age: 15
Date of incident: 4 April 2016
Location: Aida camp, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
On 4 April 2016, a 15-year-old youth from Aida refugee camp is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:30 a.m. and accused of throwing stones.
I was awake at around 2:30 a.m. when I heard the sound of banging at the front door. My brother answered and a group of Israeli soldiers told him they wanted to arrest me. My father tried to intervene and the soldiers gave him a document with details about my arrest. The soldiers did not enter the house but they told my father they wanted to question me at the police station in Etzion settlement because I was accused of throwing stones at soldiers.
The soldiers told me to get dressed and then took me outside where they blindfolded and handcuffed me to the back. The handcuffs were tight. They took me to the centre of the camp while they made more arrests. Then they took me to the nearby military base and made me sit on the ground. About 30 minutes later I was taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on a seat. The jeep drove for about an hour to the police station in Sallah Eddin Street in East Jerusalem where I waited for about an hour before I was taken for interrogation at around 5:00 a.m.
The interrogator removed the blindfold but kept the handcuffs on. He asked me general questions about my name and age. When I told him the information is written in my identity card he lost his temper and slapped me hard on the face and I was terrified. He then accused me of throwing stones at soldiers. He showed me a photograph in which I wasn’t throwing stones. I told him I was playing on the street and I wasn’t doing anything wrong. He interrogated me for about 30 minutes and during the whole time I denied the accusation.
At the end of the interrogation he told me I had the right to remain silent but he did not tell me anything about a lawyer. He then took my photograph and my fingerprints and took me to a room with a bed made out of concrete. I remained in the room until around 6:00 a.m. I was handcuffed the whole time. I managed to fall asleep for a short time.
At around 6:00 a.m. I was taken for a second round of interrogation. This time the interrogator asked me for general information about the camp. He then called my father and told him I was detained at Salah Eddin police station and that I was going to appear in Ofer military court at 3:00 p.m. I was taken back to the room. At around 8:00 a.m. I was taken for a third round of interrogation.
The interrogator repeated the same accusations and I continued to deny them. The interrogator became angry and slapped and kicked me. He then printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it but I refused to sign. He then brought in someone to translate it for me and when I found it identical to what I had said I signed it.
I remained at Salah Eddin station for two days before I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched and taken to Section 13. On 7 April I was taken to the waiting room at the military court but I wasn’t taken into court. I was released on the same day at around 9:00 p.m. without appearing in court. My parents were not there so I spent the night at the house of a family in the nearby village of Beituniya and I went home the following day.