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Testimony: S.M.

Name: S.M.
Age: 15 years
Date of incident: 26 May 2014
Location: Beit Awwa, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
On 26 May 2014, a 15-year-old boy from Beit Awwa, in the West Bank, is served with a summons by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m.
“It was 2:00 a.m. when we woke up to the sound of Israeli soldiers banging at our front door. We were all asleep. My father opened the door and the soldiers gave him a written summons for me to show up at the Israeli police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba the following morning for interrogation. The soldiers then left.”
“Later that morning, I went with my uncle to the settlement of Kiryat Arba as requested. My father couldn’t accompany me because he was at work. My uncle and I arrived at the police station at around 11:00 a.m. We rang the bell and a soldier took us into a room where we waited. Two hours later a policeman took me to the interrogation room. My uncle asked to accompany me during the interrogation but the policeman refused and asked another policeman to take my uncle outside the police station.”
“The interrogator told me his name was Rafi. He was wearing a police uniform. He asked me to sit on the chair in front of him. I wasn’t handcuffed. He did not tell me about my right to silence and immediately asked me if I remembered the day when a shack owned by my uncle was demolished by the Israeli army. I told him I did remember that day. Then he told me I was accused of throwing stones at the soldiers who were demolishing the shack. I told him this wasn’t true. I told him I was at the site but I didn’t throw stones at anyone. The interrogation lasted for about two hours and the whole time the interrogator insisted that I threw stones at soldiers. He told me they arrested me based on video footage the soldiers took two months earlier during the demolition showing me throwing stones. He told me they waited all this time because they were not sure of the identity of the person in the footage. The interrogator showed me the footage on his computer screen but it wasn’t clear at all. I continued to deny the accusation.”
“When the interrogation was over the interrogator asked me if I wanted to consult with a lawyer. Then he asked me for my father’s telephone number. Then he showed me a document written in Hebrew and asked me to sign it. I signed it after he explained to me what was written in it and I realised he had written exactly what I had told him.The interrogator then took me for fingerprinting and photographing. During this time he advised me not to be involved in stone throwing in the future and to take care of myself. He then took me for a medical examination where a doctor asked me if I suffered from illnesses or allergies. He also took my pulse and blood pressure and asked me to fill in a questionnaire. Then he asked me if I was hungry and brought me some food. Then he told me he was going to take me to a room until a vehicle arrived to take me to Ofer where the military court would decide what to do with me.”
“At around 7:00 p.m. soldiers shackled and handcuffed me and took me to a jeep where I sat on a seat. The jeep drove for about an hour before it arrived at Ofer prison, near Ramallah. I was taken for a security check where I was searched. They made me take off my clothes but I was allowed to keep my underwear on. I was given prison clothes and taken to Section 13 where I was put with other prisoners my age.”
“The following morning, Tuesday, 27 May, a soldier told me to get ready as I was being taken to the military court. I got ready but I was never taken to court. At around 12:00 p.m. a soldier told me the court hearing took place without me and that I was going to be released on bail. My family had to pay 500 Shekels to get me released on bail. My uncle was waiting for me outside court. I went home with him. I was told that the next military court hearing is scheduled on 10 December 2014.”