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Testimony: R.N.A.M.


Name:  R.N.A.M.
Age:  16
Date:  14 September 2018
Location:  Beit Ummar, West Bank
Accusation:  Protesting/throwing stones
On 14 September 2018, a 16-year-old youth from Beit Ummar is arrested by Israeli soldiers during clashes in his village at 2.30 p.m. He is accused of protesting and throwing stones. A military court sentences him to 45 days and a fine of NIS 1,500.
There were clashes with Israeli soldiers in my village and I was in the area. It was at around 2:30 p.m. All of a sudden I found myself surrounded by about seven soldiers. They immediately started to beat me all over my body; on my head, neck and back. They caused me a lot of pain. 
One of the soldiers tied my hands to the back with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were not painful. Then they walked me towards the military watchtower at the entrance to the village. 
Inside the watchtower they asked me for my name and the commander called my mother. He told her he wanted my identity card number and explained that he needed it in order to release me. 
About 30 minutes later I was blindfolded and put in a troop carrier where I sat on the metal floor. The soldiers brought in other detainees and we were thrown on top of each other. 
Later, the troop carrier drove to the police station in Etzion settlement but then turned around and came back to the watchtower whereI was taken out of the troop carrier. I thought I was going to be released but then I was taken to another vehicle to another police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba.
At Kiryat Arba I was left in a courtyard from around 4:00 p.m. until around 4:30 a. m. I was left on the ground, tied and blindfolded in the cold weather. At around 4:30 a.m. I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the ties and the blindfold. Then he told me I had the right to consult with a lawyer and the right to remain silent during the interrogation. Then he accused me of setting tires on fire and of throwing stones at soldiers during clashes in the village. He showed me images and video footage. I denied the accusation. The interrogator thumped the table aggressively when I denied the accusation and pointed to a person in the photographs. 
Then he asked me for the names of the other boys seen in the photographs and I told him I did not know any of them. Then he lost his temper and told me he did not believe me. He accused me of lying to him and raised his voice as he spoke to me.
The interrogation lasted for about an hour. In the end the interrogator showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them but I refused to sign. 
After the interrogation I was photographed and fingerprinted before being examined by a doctor. After the examination I was tied and blindfolded again and taken outside by the entrance where I was left in the cold for about two hours. I was shivering. 
After several hours a soldier led me while I was blindfolded and deliberately made me bump into a metal bar. I hit my head near my eye and my eye swelled and I was in pain. Then I was strip searched and taken into a cell where the ties and the blindfold were removed. I was given some food.
In the morning I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched again and taken to Section 13.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. The judge extended my detention and the hearing was adjourned. I had five military court hearings. 
At the last hearing I accepted a plea bargain and I was sentenced to 45 days in prison and fined 1,500 shekels. I was also given a suspended sentence of one year in prison valid for five years. I accepted the plea bargain because I wanted to go home. Not accepting it would have meant more time in prison.
I was released on 14 October 2018 and I arrived home at around 10:00 p.m. During my time in prison I was worried about my mother; my father had died a while ago and my mother had to take care of the family on her own.