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Testimony: K.M.A.J.


Name: K.M.A.J.
Age: 14
Date: 15 December 2019
Location: Al' Arrub, West Bank
Accusation: Protesting

On 15 December 2019, a 14-year-old minor from Al’ Arrub refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:30 a.m. He reports speaking to a lawyer via phone prior to interrogation but not being informed of his right to silence.

My mother woke me up and told me Israeli soldiers were trying to break open our front door. It was around 2:30 a.m. My father rushed and opened the door and about 40 soldiers entered our home. I stood and watched in shock. 
The commander showed my father some photographs and then checked our identity cards. Then they searched the house and broke some cupboards. My mother started to shout at the soldiers. They broke the washing machine and the refrigerator and told us they were looking for a yellow T-shirt. They started to smash and break things when they did not find the T-shirt they were looking for. 
The soldiers remained in our house for about one-and-a-half hours. We were all terrified especially my younger brother who was 2-years-old. 
After searching our house the commander told my parents I was under arrest because they wanted to question me about stone throwing. He gave my father a document filled out in Hebrew with information about my arrest and he made my father sign it. 
My mother helped me put on some warm clothes but the commander did not give me enough time to say good bye to everyone. He was in a hurry. He swore at my mother and yelled at her when she tried to record the raid on her mobile phone. Then the commander grabbed me and took me outside and pushed my mother back into the house.
Outside the house a soldier handcuffed me to the front with metal handcuffs which were painful. I was also blindfolded before being taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on a seat. I was taken to a military base near Beit Jala where I was left in a shipping container. 
While waiting in the shipping container a doctor came and removed the handcuffs and the blindfold and took my blood pressure and asked me some questions about my health. He handcuffed and blindfolded again as before. 
At around 9:30 a.m. I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement for interrogation. At Etzion I waited outside in the cold weather until around  around 10:00 a.m. when I was taken to an interrogation room. 
The interrogator kept me blindfolded and replaced the handcuffs behind my back. Then he phoned a lawyer for me and allowed me to speak to him. He put him on speaker phone and remained in the room and listened to the conversation which lasted for about a minute or so. The lawyer told me to deny the accusations and not to recognise any photographs if they are presented to me. He did not inform me of my right to silence. Then the interrogator took away the telephone and turned it off.
Then, without informing me of my right to silence, the interrogator asked me to apologise and promise not to do anything wrong again. I told him I had no idea what he was talking about and asked him what exactly he wanted me to apologise for. Then he pulled down the blindfold and showed me a photograph of boys clashing with soldiers and told me it was a photograph of me. When I denied it was me he slapped me on the head. He then blindfolded me again and kept slapping me. The interrogator had a voice recorder on his table and he wore civilian clothes and had a pistol on his side.
Then the interrogator asked me for my father’s phone number. He called my father and asked him to come to the police station. Within a short period of time my father arrived and the interrogator allowed him into the interrogation room. Then another interrogator came in and started to interrogate me in front of my father.
The second interrogator asked my father whether he preferred to have his work permit or his children and my father said he needed his work permit. Then the first interrogator came into the room and told the second interrogator I had spoken to a lawyer. The second interrogator did not inform me of my right to remain silent. Then he showed my father some photographs and asked him whether he recognised me in the photographs. My father said he did not. This lasted for a few minutes. Then the interrogator removed the blindfold and told my father to leave the room.
Then the interrogator told me my father had denied it was me in the photographs and asked me whether I was going to deny it too. I denied it was me. A few minutes later I was taken to another room where they took my photograph and my fingerprints. Then I was taken to a cell where I was searched in my boxer shorts. 
Later that night I was taken to Ofer prison. At Ofer I was strip searched and then I was taken to section 13. 
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents were not informed about the hearing and so they did not attend. In court I was told my father had to pay NIS 1,000 in order for me to be released that day. I was also told that if I am found at the military checkpoint near my home I would spend one month in prison without question.
I was released on 18 December 2019 after the military court hearing. I went home with a young man my father had sent to meet me. I arrived home at around 6:00 p.m.
 This testimony was produced with the financial support of the German Federal Foreign Office. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Military Court Watch.