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Testimony: A.N.T.A.


Name:  A.N.T.A.
Age:  14
Date:  30 April 2019
Location:  Kafr Ni'meh, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 30 April 2019, a 14-year-old minor from Kafr Ni’meh was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 1:30 a.m. He reports being informed of his right to silence and consulting with a lawyer over the phone prior to interrogation. 

I woke up at around 1:30 a.m. when I heard very loud banging at our front door. The soldiers tried to break our door with a tool and dented it. My older brother rushed to open the door and about 10 soldiers entered our home. 
One soldier took a photo of me on his phone and made me stand aside. Then he told me I was under arrest but did not give a reason and did not give any documents to my family.
I got dressed and then the soldiers took me outside where they tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie. The tie was very tight and painful and left marks on my wrist for days. They also blindfolded me and took me to the back of a jeep and made me sit on the metal floor. The soldiers who were inside the jeep swore at me and called me “a son of a whore”.
I was taken to a nearby military base where I was examined by a doctor. Then I was left on a chair in a container and I could not sleep. Then I was taken to the police station in Binyamin settlement for interrogation. 
The interrogator immediately told me I had the right to remain silent and the right to speak to a lawyer. He phoned a lawyer and I spoke to him. The lawyer told me not to confess and to remain silent. The interrogator was listening because I was on speaker phone with the lawyer. The lawyer spoke to me for less than a minute.
Then he wanted to know why I went with my friends to the area along Route 463 which is used by settlers. He accused me of harming settlers. Then he showed me some photos and wanted to know the names of my friends. When I told him I did not know their names he accused me of lying and started to shout at me asking me to give him names.
I was questioned for about one-and-a-half hours and in the end I confessed to throwing stones at settler cars. The interrogator typed everything I said on his computer and then printed out the document in Hebrew and Arabic and asked me to sign it and I did. 
Then he took my photograph and fingerprints and then I was taken to Ofer prison where I was searched in my boxer shorts before being taken to section 13. By then it was evening. 
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents did not attend and the hearing was adjourned. I had four hearings and in the end I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 45 days in prison and fined NIS 2,000. I was also given a suspended sentence of three months valid for three years. My mother accepted the plea bargain because she was told the alternative would be six months in prison and she wanted me home for the holidays.
I was released on 30 May 2019 and I went home with the father of my friend who was released with me on the same day. My parents did not visit me in prison because they were not issued a permit in time. This experience changed me a lot and taught me a harsh lesson.