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Testimony: A.R.N.D.


Name: A.R.N.D.
Age: 16
Date: 5 August 2019
Location: Al' Arrub, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones/Molotovs

On 5 August 2019, a 16-year-old minor from Al’ Arrub refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:30 a.m. He reports being interrogated without first being informed of his right to silence under military law.

At around 3:30 a.m. I heard the sound of banging and smashing at our front door. My father opened the front door and a group of Israeli soldiers entered our home. They went straight to my bedroom, took out a pair of trousers they had a photo of from my wardrobe and told me I was under arrest. The commander gave my father a document filled out in Hebrew with details about my arrest and told him I was suspected of throwing stones and a Molotov cocktail at soldiers on Route 60. He made him sign the document.
As soon as I was dressed the soldiers took me outside where they tied my hands behind my back with two plastic ties on top of each other. The ties were very painful and cut through my wrists. They also blindfolded me and then led me on foot for about 15 minutes. Then I was put in a vehicle where I sat on a seat. 
I was taken to a nearby building which was taken over by settlers where I was given a medical examination. On the way I was slapped on the head and kicked on the legs. The soldiers deliberately tried to trip me and they swore at me. I complained to the doctor who examined me and told him I was beaten by the soldiers but he told me to shut up because I was not beaten. At around 6:00 a.m. I was taken to  the police station in Etzion settlement.
I was questioned by an interrogator in civilian clothes. He had a pistol on his side. He offered to phone a lawyer for me but I told him there was no need. Then, without informing me of the right to silence, he started by telling I was like his son to him and then offered me a cigarette. Then he told me I was a good person with the exception of only one issue: throwing stones and Molotov cocktails on Route 60. 
He questioned me for about three hours and kept leaving the room and coming back. At times he became angry and shouted at me telling me I had to confess. He threatened to transfer me to Ashkelon prison where the conditions are harsher and to send me to Petah Tikva for a harsher interrogation. I denied the accusations. Half way through the interrogation he phoned a lawyer for me and handed me the telephone to speak to him but he stayed in the room and listened. The lawyer told me to remain silent. The interrogator then told me he had heard what the lawyer said and urged me to confess because I was a good boy. I continued to deny the accusations. In the end he asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew but I refused to sign.
Then they took my photograph and fingerprints before taking me to a cell in Etzion where I was strip searched. I was left there for two nights. 
After two days I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched again before being taken to section 13. The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My mother attended and the hearing was adjourned. 
I had six more military court hearings over the period of about two weeks. I was also interrogated multiple times over the same period of time. I spoke to a lawyer at the beginning of each interrogation but I was not informed of my right to silence. I continued to deny the accusations.
At the last military court hearing, which was on 15 August 2019, I was released without charge for lack of evidence. I went home after court with my father. We arrived home at around midnight.