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Testimony: M.M.N.

 Name:  M.M.N.
 Age:  16
 Date of incident:  19 January 2015
 Location:  At Tabaqa, West Bank
 Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 19 January 2015, a 16-year-old youth from At Tabaqa is arrested at 2.30 a.m. by Israeli soldiers and accused of throwing stones. 

“I was arrested from home at around 2.30 a.m. My mother woke me up to tell me Israeli soldiers were at the door. I got up and found the soldiers already inside the house. They quickly searched the house and then asked my mother for me. The soldiers told me to get dressed. I barely had time to put on my clothes when the soldiers dragged me outside without my shoes. I grabbed my shoes with me and put them on later. The soldiers did not give my mother any documents about my arrest but they told her they were taking me for interrogation about throwing stones. They recorded my mother’s identity card number.”
“The soldiers took me to an area not far from the house and slapped me on the neck. They blindfolded me and tied my hands to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another one connecting the two. The ties were painful. I was taken into the back of a jeep where I sat on the floor. The jeep drove for about 10minutes and stopped at the nearby military base.”
“I was immediately taken to see a doctor. The soldiers removed the blindfold and the doctor examined me and gave me a form to fill out. Then I was put in a shipping container where I was blindfolded again. I slept on a bench until around 7.00 a.m.”
“I was then taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on the floor. The jeep drove for about an hour before it stopped at the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. The soldiers kicked and slapped me on the way. At Kiryat Arba I was taken into a courtyard where I sat on the ground for about two hours. An interrogator came with a soldier who beat me and stepped on my foot before taking me to the interrogation room.”
“The interrogator was in civilian clothes. No one else was in the room. He turned on a tape recorder during the interrogation. He removed the ties and the blindfold and started to interrogate me. He accused me of throwing stones at soldiers. Half way through the interrogation he told me I had the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer. I told him I didn’t want a lawyer. He asked me for my mother’s number. I asked him if I could speak to my mother but he told me he would allow me to speak to her only after I confess. He then called my mother and told her I was at Kiryat Arba and asked her to appoint a lawyer.”
“The interrogator again accused me of throwing stones at soldiers at an intersection near our village. He then showed me some pictures of boys throwing stones and told me that I was in the picture. I denied this and told him I wasn’t throwing stones. The interrogation lasted for about an hour.”
“During the interrogation the interrogator banged at the table aggressively and was swearing. He told me I was the son of a whore and he said bad things about god and religion. He also told me that a boy had confessed against me saying I was throwing stones with him. He mentioned the name of the boy and I told the interrogator I didn’t know him. He threatened to bring that boy to confront me and wondered what I would say. I told him to go ahead and bring that boy and I would say to his face that he was a liar. He never confronted me with the boy. The interrogator allowed me to use the bathroom and to drink water.”
“He then printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it. I asked him to translate it for me and when I found it identical to what I had told him I signed it. I was then photographed and finger printed and taken into a shipping container. I was blindfolded and tied like before.”
“I sat on a bench until around 6.00 p.m. when I was taken into the back of a jeep where I sat on the floor. The jeep drove for about 30 minutes and stopped at the police station in Etzion settlement At Etzion I was strip searched and taken into a room with other boys. The ties and the blindfold were removed. Soldiers brought me some food and I spent a night at Etzion.”
“The following morning, at around 9.00 a.m., I was shackled and handcuffed to the front and taken into a troop carrier where I sat on a seat. The carrier drove for about 30 minutes before it stopped at Ofer where I was strip searched again and taken into Section 13.”
“On Thursday, 22 January, I was taken to Ofer military court. My mother came to Ofer but she never entered the courtroom because they forgot to call her in. A lawyer was in court to defend me. The hearing was adjourned. I had seven other hearings. In the end my lawyer agreed on a plea bargain with the prosecution where I would be sentenced to four months in prison and 2,000 shekels fine in addition to a 6 months suspended sentence and 5,000 shekels fine valid for 5 years.”
“I spent 3 months of my sentence at Ofer but the last month I was transferred to Megiddo prison inside Israel. While in prison I studied mathematics and Arabic. My family visited me regularly at Ofer but in Megiddo I only had one family visit. I was released on 17 May at around 3.00 p.m. I was first transferred to Salem checkpoint where my family met me and I went home with them. I arrived home at around 6.00 p.m.”