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Testimony: M.T.M.A.

 

Name: M.T.M.A.
Age: 17
Date: 22 May 2017
Location: Tuqu', West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 22 May 2017, a 17-year-old youth from Tuqu' is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 4:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones. He reports being interrogated without being informed of his legal rights and only permitted to consult with a lawyer after interrogation.

I woke up at around 4:00 a.m. to the sound of loud banging at our front door. My father answered and a group of Israeli soldiers entered our house and told my father they had come to arrest me. I was scared. The soldiers did not give my father any documents and did not say why they were arresting me and where they were taking me.
 
I got dressed and then the soldiers took me outside where I was blindfolded and my hands were tied to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and one connecting the two. The ties were not tight or painful.
 
Then I was taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on a seat. The jeep drove for about 15 minutes towards the military watchtower at the entrance to our village. At the watchtower a doctor examined me. He removed the blindfold and the ties and then put them back on when he was finished. Then the jeep drove for another 30 minutes to the settlement of Etzion where I was immediately taken for interrogation.
 
The interrogator wore civilian clothes. He did not inform me of my rights and immediately accused me of throwing stones at soldiers. He told me there were confessions against me from other boys and he named some of them. I told the interrogator I did not know the boys and that I did not throw stones at soldiers. When I denied the accusation he slapped me on the face and called me a "fucker son of a whore". Then he pushed me to the ground in an attempt to scare me and make me confess.
 
The interrogator questioned me for more than two hours and only in the end did he call a lawyer and allow me to speak to him. The lawyer told me to remain silent but I told him it was too late. Then the interrogator printed out a document in Hebrew and asked me to sign it but I refused because I did not understand what it said.
 
After the interrogation was over I was photographed and fingerprinted. I was then searched in my underwear and taken to a cell where I remained for a few hours. After a few hours soldiers came and shackled my legs and handcuffed me. I was then taken to a troop carrier and driven to Ofer prison. On arrival at Ofer I was again searched in my underwear and put in the juvenile section.
 
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents were not present and my lawyer was on strike sothe hearing was adjourned. I had about 10 additional military court hearings which my parents attended and I was allowed to speak to them.
 
At the last military court hearing I was sentenced in a plea bargain to four months in prison and given a one-year additional sentence suspended for five years. I was also fined 2,000 shekels. In the plea bargain I confessed to throwing one stone which missed.
 
I was released from Ofer prison on 30 August 2017 at around 11:00 p.m. and I went home with my parents. In prison I studied Arabic and mathematics.