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Testimony: D.M.

Name: D. M.
Age: 16 years
Date of incident: 27 March 2013
Location: Deir Nidham, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
On 27 March 2013, a 16-year-old boy from the village of Deir Nidham is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails.
“I went to bed early because I had an exam the following day. At around 2:00 a.m. I woke up to the sound of loud banging at the front door downstairs. Minutes later about 10 Israeli soldiers entered our house. Some of the soldiers were masked. They asked my father about his children and searched the house and the roof. Then they asked everyone else to go downstairs and to wait outside and asked my father to bring my clothes. That was when we knew they were going to take me away. Soldiers had a list with names on it but they didn’t tell us why they were arresting me or where they were going to take me. The commander told my parents they just wanted to ask me some questions and that they were going to return me soon.”
“The soldiers tied my hands very tightly to the front with one plastic tie. Then they walked me to the jeep that was waiting nearby. They put me in the jeep, cut off the plastic tie and tied my hands very tightly to the back with one plastic tie. They also took off my prescription glasses, put them in my pocket and blindfolded me. I sat on a seat and the jeep drove for about 15 minutes before arriving at the Israeli military base of NeveYair, near our village. I was taken out of the jeep and asked some questions about my health. My blindfold was removed but I remained tied. After the medical check I was re-blindfolded and transferred to Binyamin police station. The journey took about two hours as the jeep stopped many times along the way. At the police station my blindfold was removed and I waited for another two hours. When the blindfold was removed I found out that two other boys from my village had also been arrested.”
“After waiting for two hours I was taken for interrogation. During the interrogation the plastic tie was removed and replaced with metal hand cuffs. They also shackled my ankles. At the beginning of the interrogation the interrogator asked me questions about other boys; he called them bastards. He told me to confess that I saw them throwing stones and then he would release me. I told him I didn’t know the boys well and that they were not my friends and I didn’t know whether they were the ones who threw stones. There were two soldiers in the room and they then kicked me and slapped me in the face. My parents were not there. The interrogation went on for two or three hours. First the interrogator tried to trick me. He told me it wasn’t a big deal to throw stones and if I confessed to throwing one stone he would forgive me. He also told me the other boys had confessed against me which was not true. When I denied the accusation he got angry and kicked me. He didn’t tell me about my rights and I didn’t speak to a lawyer. As far as I know the interrogation was not recorded.”
“At one point in the interrogation a fat person entered the room and introduced himself as Captain Shahak. He accused me of throwing Molotov cocktails. I told him I didn’t even know what Molotov cocktails were and I denied the accusation. Then I was shown a document in Arabic which I read and found it wasn’t accurate. The statement said I had confessed against other boys which isn’t true. Still, I signed the paper because I was scared and tired. It was when I was kicked and slapped by the soldiers that I decided to do whatever they wanted me to do.”
“After the interrogation I was placed in a room by myself for about two hours. During this time I was handcuffed and shackled. Then my fingerprints and photo were taken and I was taken back to the room by myself. Sometime later I was placed me in the backyard of the building. It was evening. Then they blindfolded me and tied my hands behind my back and removed the shackles. I was then transported with two other detainees to Ofer prison. On arrival at OferI was given another medical examination and then given prison clothes. I was put in cell number 13 with other boys my age. The hand cuffs were removed at the entrance to the cell.”
“I remained in prison until I was taken to court on 31 March 2013, four days after my arrest. The court ordered my release although I didn’t appear in front of a judge and remained in the waiting room. I was with a young person called Bilal. The two of us took our clothes from the locker. Then they gathered us with other people who were released that day, put us on a bus and released us at Betunia checkpoint. My family was not informed of my release so they were not there to take me home. I arrived home at 11:00 pm. I was released without charge and my family was not asked to pay any money.”