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Testimony: A.M.I.R.


Name: A.M.I.R.
Age: 16
Date: 19 November 2017
Location: Bi'lin, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 19 November 2017, a 16-year-old youth from Bi’lin is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:30 a.m. He reports that he was interrogated without first consulting with a lawyer and then being asked to sign a document in Hebrew stating that he saw a lawyer. 

My mother woke me up at around 2:30 a.m. and told me Israeli soldiers were in our home looking for me. My father prevented the soldiers from entering my bedroom and made them wait for me to come to the living room. 
When I came to the living-room some soldiers went to my bedroom and took a black T-shirt. They then told my parents I was under arrest but they did not provide us with any documentation. The soldiers wanted to handcuff me inside the house but my father asked them not to humiliate me in front of him and my mother. 
Once outside the house the soldiers handcuffed me to the front which were painful. Then they put me in the back of a military jeep and made me sit on the metal floor. Once inside the jeep I was blindfolded and the jeep drove to the nearby military base. On the way soldiers slapped me many times while I was blindfolded and handcuffed and each time it was a shock. Each time they slapped me they laughed.
At the military base I was taken inside where I spent the rest of the night on the ground, handcuffed and blindfolded, and I could not sleep. I was allowed to use the toilet but I was not given any food or drink. 
At around 9:00 a.m. my legs were shackled and I was taken to the police station in Binyamin settlement. The jeep stopped many times on the way and I arrived at around noon. At the police station I was taken to a room where I waited for about two-and-a-half hours before I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed my blindfold and handcuffs but kept me shackled. He was in police uniform and there was a camera on the wall in the interrogation room. Before questioning me he told me I could remain silent. He also told me he was going to call my father to ask him to appoint a lawyer for me but he never did and I did not speak to a lawyer. 
The interrogator showed me photos of clashes near the Wall which included images of boys using sling shots. He accused me of taking part but I denied the accusation. He raised his voice at me in anger and told me he was going to discipline me and the whole village.
Then another interrogator entered the room and told me he was going to “teach me” not to throw stones. I told him I did not throw stones. He shouted at me and accused me of lying. Then he banged the table and threw an old mobile phone on the floor. He wanted to scare me in order to confess. At first I denied the accusation but then I confessed. 
After I confessed one of the interrogators showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign. I asked him to translate but he was not clear and I asked him to repeat. Then he told me the document says I was informed of my right to silent and that I had access to a lawyer. I told him I was not going to sign because I did not see a lawyer. He told me he was going to allow me to speak to a lawyer after I sign. I believed him and signed but he did not call a lawyer.
After the interrogation I was taken to another room where I waited until around 5:00 p.m. Then I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched and taken to Section 13. 
Two days later I was taken to Ofer military court. My mother was there and a lawyer. The hearing was adjourned. In all I had four military court hearings. 
At the last hearing I was sentenced in a plea bargain and I was given two choices: either seven months in prison without a fine, or five months in prison with a fine of 2,000 shekels. I accepted the second offer because I wanted to go back to school. I was also given a suspended sentence of three months valid for 18 months. 
I was released on 5 April 2018, two weeks early for good conduct. In prison I attended classes in mathematics and Arabic. I also attended drawing classes. My mother and brother visited me three times but my father was allowed to visit me only once because he was denied a permit for security reasons.