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Testimony: M.I.A.M.


Name: M.I.A.M.
Age: 15
Date: 14 September 2018
Location: Beit Ummar, West Bank
Accusation: Protesting/throwing stones

On 14 September 2018, a 15-year-old youth from Beit Ummar is arrested by Israeli soldiers during clashes at 2:30 p.m. He reports that he was permitted to speak to a lawyer by phone prior to interrogation.

I was on the main street in the village during clashes with Israeli soldiers at around 2:30 p.m. when all of a sudden I found myself surrounded by soldiers. I tried to run away but a soldier aimed his gun at me and told he was going to shoot me if I did not stop immediately. I continued to run but I tripped and fell to the ground and the soldier grabbed me and prevented me from running anymore. 
The soldier immediately started to beat and kick me all over my body. Then he tied my hands to the front with 3 plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were very tight and painful. Then I was led towards the military watchtower at the entrance to the village. Inside the watch ower I was blindfolded. 
A short time later I was put in a troop carrier where I sat on the metal floor. There were other boys who were arrested with me and we were on the floor on top of each other. 
I was driven to the police station in the settlement of Etzion where I was transferred to another vehicle which then took me back to the entrance of the village. The soldiers brought in another boy and then we were taken to the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. At Kiryat Arba I was left in an open area from around 4:00 p.m. until around 11:00 p.m. and then I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the blindfold but kept me tied. He was in civilian clothes. He had a camera and a voice recorder. As soon as I entered he told me I had the right to consult with a lawyer and the right to remain silent. Then he told me I had to speak because the prosecutor needed to listen to my testimony on the voice recorder. Then he called a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The interrogator left the room while I talked to the lawyer. The lawyer assured me the interrogator was not going to beat me during interrogation. He also told me I had the right to remain silent and not to confess. 
Then the interrogator accused me of throwing stones at soldiers during clashes in the village. I denied the accusation. Then he showed me photographs and video footage of the clashes and wanted me to give information about the participants in the clashes but I did not give him any information. The interrogation lasted for about 90 minutes. During this time the interrogation shouted at me as he pointed to one of the pictures and pointed to a person who was wearing similar clothes as me. I told him lots of people in the village wear the same clothes, just like the soldiers who wear uniforms.
Then he showed me more pictures and pointed to a person and told me it was me. He told me if I confessed he was going to send me home. Then he made me stand up and pointed at my boots saying they were the same boots the boy in the photograph was wearing. I continued to deny the accusation. The interrogator showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them but I refused to sign something I did not understand. 
After the interrogation I was taken to a courtyard and separated from the other boys who were arrested with me. I was not given any food or drink but I was allowed to use the toilet. 
At around 3:00 a.m. I was put in a vehicle vehicle and driven to the police station in Gush Etzion where I was examined by a doctor. The doctor saw that I was not blindfolded and shouted at the soldiers objecting that I was not blindfolded. He then brought a sponge and a plastic tie and blindfolded me with the sponge and tie. 
After seeing the doctor I was strip searched and taken to a cell where they removed the ties and the sponge. I was able to sleep for about an hour in the room. 
At around 8:00 a.m. I was given some food and then driven to Ofer prison where I was strip searched again and taken into Section 13. T
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents were not there because they were not informed about the hearing. I showed the military judge bruises on my shoulder but still he decided to extend my detention. He said something in Hebrew which I did not understand and the hearing was adjourned. 
In all I had six military court hearings. At the last hearingI was sentenced in a plea bargain to 45 days in prison and fined 1,000 shekels. I was also given a suspended sentence of one year in prison valid for five years. I accepted the plea bargain because it was offered to me on 11 October 2018, just three days before I was supposed to be released. Not accepting it would have meant more time in prison.
I was released on 14 October 2018, and I arrived home at around 10:00 p.m. My parents visited me once in prison.