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Testimony: A.A.I.M.


Name:  A.A.I.M.
Age:  15
Date:  2 March 2019
Location:  Al Khader, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 2 March 2019, a 15-year-old minor from Al Khader was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 a.m. He reports being interrogated multiple times without first being informed of his right to a lawyer or his right to silence.

I woke up at around 3:00 a.m. to the sound of loud banging at our front door. My mother opened the door and seven soldiers entered our home. There were many more soldiers outside. 
The soldiers told my mother to wake up her children and then told her that they wanted to arrest me. The soldiers then sat me down in the living room and told me I was suspected of throwing stones. The soldiers then searched the house but did not cause any damage. 
The soldiers then they gave my father a document with details about my arrest scribbled in Hebrew and asked him to sign it and he did. Then they told me to get dressed and immediately took me outside.
Once outside the soldiers tied my hands behind my back with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were not painful. They also blindfolded me and took me to the back of a troop carrier. I first sat on a seat but then they made me sit on the metal floor. 
Inside the troop carried a soldier beat me on my back and leg. Another swore at my mother and called her “a whore”. Then I was taken to the military base at the District Coordination Office where I was left in a room until around 7:00 a.m. I could not sleep. During this time someone came by and started to question me. He did not tell me who he was.
The person removed the blindfold and accused me of throwing stones and I denied the accusation. He questioned me without allowing me to speak to a lawyer. He told me I could speak only if he allows me and when he tells me not to speak I should stop. He wanted to know where my father worked and I told him he had a permit to work in Israel. He questioned me for about an hour and kept repeating the accusation. He did not show me any documents to sign. Then I was taken to the police stationint the settlement of Bitar Illit. 
At the police station I was questioned again and the interrogator did not inform me of my rights. The second interrogation was about the same accusation and lasted for about an hour. The interrogator wanted to know if I threw stones with my friends on Route 60 and I told him I did not. He gave me a specific date in December 2018. He was aggressive and spoke in a loud voice. He did not give me anything to sign. 
After the interrogation I was taken outside where I waited for about 15 minutes and then I was taken for another interrogation. By then it was around 8:00 a.m.
As soon as I entered the room the interrogator phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him on a speaker phone. The lawyer told me not to be afraid and to take care of myself. The conversation lasted for less than a minute and the interrogator was listening.  
Without informing me of my right to silence, the interrogator accused me of throwing stones with my friends. I denied the accusation. He questioned me for a very long time, maybe five or six hours and he kept repeating the same accusation. He showed me some photographs of me sitting on the side of a hill. He left the room and came back many times. In the end I was tired and I confessed to throwing one stone which missed.
Then the interrogator showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them but I refused to sign and asked him for a translation. When he translated it and I found it was identical to what I had said I signed it. 
After the interrogation I was taken to see another interrogator who told me to repeat what I had told the previous interrogator while he recorded everything on his computer. This interrogator did not inform me of my rights but he did have a camera and a voice recorder. 
Later I was strip searched and taken to a cell where I remained until around 6:00 p.m. Then I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched again before being taken to section 13. 
The following day I had a military court hearing which my parents attended. I was denied bail and the hearing was adjourned. I had about 12 hearings and at the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to six months in prison, fined NIS 2,000 and given a suspended sentence of one year valid for two years. My lawyer advised me to accept the plea bargain and told me it was good so accepted it.
I spent my prison sentence at Ofer where I attended Arabic and mathematics classes. I also played table tennis and my parents visited me four times. I was released on 13 August 2019 and I went home with my family. We arrived home in the evening.