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Home » Children »

Testimony: J.A.M.

 

Name: J.A.M.
Age: 14 years
Date of incident: 22 May 2014
Location: Deir Nidham, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones/Molotov cocktails
                        
On 22 May 2014, a 14-year-old boy from Deir Nidham, in the West Bank, is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:30 a.m. and accused of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails.
 
“I was asleep when I heard loud banging at our front door at around 2:30 a.m. Seconds later there were Israeli soldiers inside our house telling us to gather in the living room. My father was away and the soldiers broke down the front door and the door to my parents’ bedroom before my mother could answer the door."
 
"Four days earlier, on 19 May, my two brothers were detained for five hours at the entrance to our village. One of my brothers called me and told me the soldiers wanted me to come to where they were being held. When I arrived at the entrance to our village a soldier handed me a phone and I spoke to an Israeli policeman stationed in Binyamin settlement. He told me that I had to come to the police station the next day with another boy from the village. After I spoke to the policeman the soldiers released me and my brothers. My family decided that I shouldn’t go to the police station because my father was away and I was in the middle of school exams.”
 
“I sat on the couch in the living room and one of the soldiers asked me for my date of birth and told me to get dressed because they were going to take me away for questioning. They didn’t say why and didn’t show me any written documents. I hardly had time to put on some clothes before I was pushed outside the house where a soldier painfully twisted my arms behind my back and tied my wrists together with one plastic tie which was very painful. They also pulled down my hat to cover my eyes. Then I was pushed into the back of a jeep that was waiting outside. I was lying on my side on the floor of the jeep. Another boy was in the jeep too."
 
"The jeep drove away and I was kicked and slapped. Soldiers hit the metal floor with their guns and made frightening loud sounds.   The jeep drove for about 10 minutes before it arrived at the nearby military base. I waited outside for about 30 minutes before I was taken for a medical examination. After the doctor asked me some questions about my health I was taken out again where I waited until it was daylight. I was without any food or drink. They didn’t allow me to use the bathroom. A soldier told me there were no bathrooms there.”
 
“At daybreak I was blindfolded and taken in a military vehicle to a Israeli police station inside Binyamin settlement. I was still hand tied. A soldier made the tie even tighter. The vehicle drove for about an hour. At Binyamin I was held in an outdoor area for about an hour before I was taken for interrogation."
 
"The interrogator introduced himself and told me I had the right to remain silent. He removed the plastic tie and replaced it with metal handcuffs. My hands were restrained from the back. He also told me I had the right to see a lawyer and that if I didn’t have my own lawyer he was going to appoint me one. He told me I was accused of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails and that there were two witnesses; a soldier and someone from our village. He claimed the soldier and the other person were eye witnesses and that he had photographs in his possession. He also told me a stone thrown at a vehicle can cause an accident and even death. I denied the accusation and challenged him to show me the photographs. He never did. I also asked him to name the person he claimed was an eyewitness but he refused. The interrogation lasted for about 15 minutes."
 
"Then the interrogator left the room and I was left alone for about an hour. I wasn’t given any papers to sign. Then I was taken to a prison cell. It was around 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. I was given a glass of water and an apple.”
 
“Then I was taken in a military vehicle to Ofer prison. Soldiers swore at me on the way and said bad things about my mother and sisters and called them whores. We arrived at Ofer at around 1:00 p.m. I waited in the vehicle outside Ofer until 3:00 p.m. I was taken inside for a security check, my photograph was taken and I was given prison clothes. I was then taken to a prison cell where there were other children my age. The other children prepared some food for me and then I went to sleep.”
 
“The following day (Friday, 23 May), I was taken to Ofer military court. In court a lawyer advised me if I don’t confess in the second round of interrogation I would be released. The hearing was adjourned. On Sunday (25 May) I was taken back to the military court where I waited in the waiting room from around 6:00 a.m. until late in the evening. I wasn’t taken for a second interrogation. At around 10:00 p.m. a soldier told me I was going to be released. I was released without charge and my family didn’t have to pay any money. I went home with the father of another boy from my village. I arrived home at around 11:00 p.m. I missed two of my final school exams; English language and science. I now avoid soldiers as much as I can.”