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Testimony: M.A.O.N.


Name: M.A.O.N.
Age: 15
Date: 1 October 2018
Location: Nahhalin, West Bank
Accusation: Setting a fire

On 1 October 2018, a 15-year-old youth from Nahhalin is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 4:30 a.m. He reports being interrogated without first being informed of his right to silence. He is released without charge 2-weeks later. 

I woke up at around 4:30 a.m. when I heard a noise in our home. My father woke up and ran to the front door and opened it just before Israeli soldiers broke it down. My father later told me that around 6 soldiers entered our home. 
One of the soldiers pushed my father on the couch and a female soldier pushed the coffee table on his legs.  A soldier then came to my bedroom, grabbed me by my T-shirt and told me to get up because I was under arrest. He dragged me to the living room and made me sit on a chair. He asked me for my name and wanted to know whether I had an identity card. I told him I did not. 
Then he took me back to my bedroom where he saw a telephone on the bed. He asked me whether it was mine and I told him it was my brother’s. Then I was taken outside where I was tied with my hands to the front with one plastic tie which was very tight and painful. Then the commander asked me again about the phone, took me back into the house and took the phone. 
Then I was taken to the back of a jeep where I was blindfolded and sat on the metal floor. Then the jeep drove to the police station in the settlement of Etzion. 
At Etzion I was taken to a room where I waited on a chair. While waiting I was examined by doctor who removed the blindfold and put it back on when he was done. At around 6:00 a.m. soldiers took me outside and walked me around the police station and then took me to a shipping container. Shortly afterwards an interrogator walked into the interrogation room.
The interrogator removed the blindfold and phoned a lawyer for me. The lawyer told me not to confess and to deny any accusations. The conversation lasted for about 15 seconds and the interrogator remained in the room and listened in. 
After I spoke to the lawyer the interrogator told me he was going to cut it short and if I confessed I would not be harmed. Then he told me if I did not confess he was going to bring soldiers with dogs to beat me up. I was scared and asked the interrogator what he wanted me to confess to. He told me he wanted me to tell him who started the fires near the fence to a settlement. Then he told me he just wanted me to keep an eye on the boys who cause trouble. 
Then the interrogator left the room and I could hear one of the boys screaming and shouting. I think I recognised the voice as that of one of my friends and I was very scared. 
Then the interrogator came back and asked me whether I had heard the screams and told me he was going to make me scream like that boy if I did not confess. I told him I did not do anything wrong and told him I was not involved in the fire. Half way through the interrogation the interrogator told me I had the right to remain silent and that anything I say could be used against me in court.
Then he threatened to bring my father to the police station and lock him up in prison if I did not confess. Then he swore at my father and told me he was going to put him on a black list of people denied permits for security reasons. Then he swore at my mother and punched me in the stomach. Then he took me to a room with flags of all the Palestinian political factions on the wall. 
Another interrogator came into that room. He told me to forget about the first interrogator and to forget the past and start a new page. He told me I had 5 minutes to think it over and that if I did not confess he was going to cause me more pain than the first interrogator. He left the room for 5 minutes and when he came back he asked me whether I had changed my mind. I told him I had nothing to say. 
Then a group of soldiers came into the room and one of them banged my head against the metal cabinet in the room. When I started to scream a soldier put his hand on my mouth. I asked to speak to a lawyer and told them I wanted to complain about the beating. They refused to allow me to speak to a lawyer. Then the interrogator showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them and I did. 
Then they took my photograph and fingerprints. I was then searched in my underwear and taken to a cell where I waited for about 3 hours. 
After 3 hours I was taken to Ofer prison where I was searched in my underwear before being taken into Section 13. 
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents did not attend the hearing because they were not told about it. My detention was extended and the hearing was adjourned. 
I had 3 military court hearings. At the last hearing the military judge decided to release me without charge for lack of evidence. I was released on 14 October 2018 and I went home with my mother. We arrived home at around 6:00 p.m.