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Testimony: A.M.A.I.


Name: A.M.A.I.
Age: 14
Date: 15 April 2018
Location: Al Arrub, West Bank
Acccusation: Throwing stones/Molotovs

On 15 April 2018 a 14-year-old boy from Al Arrub refugee camp goes to Etzion police station in response to a summons. He reports that he was initially interrogated without consulting with a lawyer or being informed of his right to silence. 

About a month before I was arrested Israeli soldiers came to my relatives’ house looking for me. It was around 3:00 a.m. The following day a military commander telephoned my father and told him to bring me to the police station in Etzion settlement at 9:00 a.m. on 21 March. My father took me to the police station as requested but while we were waiting at the entrance my father received a phone call from the military commander saying I was summoned by mistake and my father and I could go home.
About a week later the military again raided my relatives’ house looking for me. The following day my father received another telephone call from the commander summoning me again to the police station. This time I went with my mother and another relative of mine because my father was busy. My mother and the relative were told to go home and I was taken inside the police station where I waited in a room.
Shortly afterwards the commander came to the room and told me he finally got hold of me. He started to question me about throwing stones and Molotov cocktails without informing me of my rights. I denied the accusations and told him I had no idea what he was talking about. He lost his temper and thumped the table aggressively. He told me he had a whole file on me and that he was keeping a close eye on me. Then he talked about my uncle and my brother to prove he knew everything about me and my family. Then he told me I would regret it if I did not cooperate with him and that I would sit in prison for a long time.
Then he stood up and put his face very close to mine and told me to tell him everything there was to say and he would spare me a prison sentence. Then he told me there were confessions against me and gave me names of people whom he claimed had confessed against me. 
Shortly afterwards a soldier blindfolded me and tied my hands to the front with 2 plastic ties on top of each other. The ties were not painful. He also shackled me and then took me to see another interrogator in another room.
The second interrogator introduced himself as Shimon. He removed the blindfold but kept the ties and the shackles.  He told me he knew everything there was to know about me. He also told me there were confessions against me. He accused me of throwing stones and Molotov cocktail on certain dates but I denied the accusation. Then he put his hand on his gun and told me he knew what I was up to and that I should not lie to him. He thumped the table a few times and was angry.
Then he played a voice recording of someone who confessed against me. Still, I denied the accusation. The interrogation lasted for about 3 hours. During this time he also wanted me to confess about others. He gave me names and urged me to confess against them. He tried to implicate me by claiming I was friends with a person who was shot dead by Israeli soldiers but I denied everything. 
Half way through the second interrogation he told me I had the right to consult with a lawyer and gave me a document written in both Hebrew and Arabic about my right to consult with a lawyer. The document did not say anything about my right to silence and the interrogator did not say anything about the right to silence. He called a lawyer half way through the interrogation and allowed me to speak to him. The interrogator put the lawyer on speaker phone and could listen to everything he told me. The lawyer told me not to confess to anything and wished me well. He also told me he would see me in court. The phone call with the lawyer lasted a few seconds.  
At the end of the interrogation the interrogator showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them.  When I asked him to explain the documents he told me they were my testimony. I signed. Then they took my fingerprints and photograph and took me to see another interrogator.
The third interrogator gave me a document about my right to remain silent but did not say anything about my right to consult with a lawyer. Then he gave me 3 dates and accused me of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails on these dates. I denied the accusations. The interrogator typed what I told him on a computer. This lasted for about 15 minutes.
Then he blindfolded me and took me outside where I waited in the sun for about 2 hours. I was not given any food or drink since I turned myself in and I was not allowed to use the toilet. Then soldiers walked me a long distance while I was blindfolded and took me to a prison cell at the police station. On the way I fell down a couple of times because I could not see and soldiers swore at me calling me “a son of a whore”. 
By the time I arrived at the cell it was around 6:00 p.m. I could not tell the exact time because I did not have a watch. The blindfold and shackles and ties were removed. There was a toilet in the cell but I was not given any food or drink. I remained in the cell until around 3:00 a.m. when I was handcuffed and blindfolded and driven to Ofer prison. At Ofer I was strip searched and taken to Section 13.
The following day I was taken to ofer military court where I waited in a room and was never taken into the court room. In the evening I was taken back to prison. The following day I was taken to the military court again. My parents were not informed so they did not attend the hearing but my lawyer was there and the hearing was adjourned. 
I had about 7 military court hearings and on the 16 July 2018 I accepted a plea bargain whereby in return for pleading guilty I would be sentenced to 4 months in prison and fined 2,000 shekels. I also received a 6-month suspended sentence suspended for 5 years. I accepted the plea bargain because I would soon be released and I was fed up with court hearings. 
I spent the whole time at Ofer prison where my parents visited me 3 times. I was very bored in prison with not much to do. The routine was boring and the lessons they gave us were not challenging. They taught us the alphabet and told us to draw.
I was released early from Ofer on 31July 2018. I took a taxi to a nearby village and my brother met me there. I arrived home at around 5:00 p.m. and had a nice meal with my family.