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Testimony: A.A.Q.


 Name:  A.A.Q.
 Age:  15 years
 Date of incident:  21 September 2014
 Location:  Al Fawwar, West Bank
 Accusation:  Throwing stones/demonstrating

On 21 September 2014, a 15-year-old boy from the Al Fawwar refugee camp, in the West Bank, is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones and participating in a demonstration.

“Israeli soldiers broke down our front door at 3:00 a.m. I woke up to the sound of things breaking and saw soldiers in the house. One of the soldiers told my father they were going to arrest me. A week earlier, soldiers had come to our house at 1:00 a.m. and given my father a summons in my name to appear at Kiryat Arba police station, inside the settlement. I did not go because my cousin had died the same day.”
“One of the soldiers, I think he was the commander, gave my father a document with details about my arrest. The commander claimed I was accused of throwing stones. He told my father they were going to take me to the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. I was immediately taken outside the house and led away on foot for about 10 minutes to the Israeli military watchtower at the entrance to our camp. At the watchtower a soldier tied my hands to the back with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another one connecting the two. I was also bindfolded. I sat on the ground for about an hour before I was put in the back of a military jeep and made to sit on the metal floor. While inside the jeep the soldiers verbally abused me and used really bad language.”
“The jeep drove for about five minutes before stopping at a military base. I was immediately taken to see a doctor who asked me if I suffered from any illnesses. When the doctor was finished I was taken back to the jeep. I sat on the metal floor and the jeep remained in the camp for about an hour-and-a-half. The jeep then drove for about 30 minutes before it stopped at the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. It was around 9:00 a.m. I was taken out of the jeep and the hand ties were removed and replaced to the front. My blindfold was removed and I was taken for interrogation.”
“The interrogator wore civilian clothes. He removed the hand ties and made me sit at the table facing him. I was not informed of my right to silence and I was not told that I could speak with a lawyer.'
"The interrogator immediately accused me of leading demonstrations and of throwing stones. He also claimed that other young men had provided confessions against me. I asked him to confront me with the young men he claimed had provided confessions, but he never did. When I denied the accusations the interrogator became angry. He verbally abused me and slapped me on my face. Then he blindfolded me and made me stand against the wall and started to shout and yell at me."
"Then another policeman in civilian clothes took me to another room. He told me he was going to take a statement from me. He said this after he told me I had the right to silence and the right to see a lawyer. He asked me for my father’s number. He called my father and asked him to appoint a lawyer for me because I was going to appear in the military court the following day. The second interrogator accused me of the same things. Again, I denied the accusations. Then he showed me a document written in both Arabic and Hebrew and asked me to sign it. I read the document and found that it matched what I had told the interrogator so I signed it.”
“I was then photographed and fingerprinted and taken back to the jeep where I sat on a seat. I remained in the jeep until around noon when a soldier brought me some food. I was then tied again with three plastic ties and blindfolded. The jeep drove for about 30 minutes before arriving at the police station in the settlement of Etzion. I was taken to a room where I was by myself. There was a mattress and a toilet. I remained in the room until around 7:00 p.m. when soldiers replaced the plastic ties with metal hand cuffs. I was also shackled. I was taken to a vehicle which drove for about 40 minutes before arriving at Ofer prison.
“On arrival at Ofer I was strip searched. I was then given prison clothes and taken to Section 13 where I stayed with other prisoners my age. The following morning I was taken to Ofer military court where I waited in the waiting room until around 4:00 p.m. When I was finally taken into the military court room there was no lawyer. My parents were not there either. The hearing was adjourned for a week. About a week later a soldier handcuffed and shackled me and told me I was going to be taken to the military court again. Instead I was taken for more interrogation, this time by the Shin Bet.”
“The Shin Bet interrogator wore civilian clothes. He took some personal information about me and immediately started to interrogate me. He did not inform me of my rights. He accused me of leading demonstrations and of throwing stones. I denied the accusation. The interrogation lasted for about 30 minutes. When the interrogation was over I was taken back to Ofer prison.”
“At around 4:00 p.m. I was told I was going to be released on bail pending the next military court hearing which was set for 28 September 2015. I was released from prison on 28 September 2014. My parents were waiting for me outside prison. My parents had to pay 1,500 Shekels bail.”