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Testimony: Q.W.N.B.


Name: Q.W.N.B.
Age: 15
Date: 2 December 2018
Location: Al Arrub, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 2 December 2018, a 15-year-old youth from Al Arrub is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:30 a.m. He reports speaking briefly to a lawyer on the phone prior to interrogation but not bing informed of his right to silence. 

My brother woke me up at around 2:00 a.m. and told me Israeli soldiers were in our neighbourhood. I looked out the window and saw the soldiers going into my grandparents’ house. About 30 minutes later the soldiers came to our house accompanied by my uncle. My uncle knocked at our door and told my father the soldiers wanted to arrest me.
My father answered the door and about 8 soldiers entered our home. The minute the commander saw me he asked me for my name and then told me to get ready because I was under arrest. My father was shocked and asked me whether I had been involved in throwing stones at soldiers and I told him I had not. One of the soldiers told my father I was a trouble maker. The commander gave my mother a document but I don’t know what it said.
I put my shoes on and wanted to say goodbye to my family but the soldiers did not allow me. I was immediately taken outside and led towards my grandparents’ house where a soldier tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was tight and painful. It left marks on my wrists for weeks. 
After I was tied the soldiers led me through the neighbourhood and the commander asked me to show him the house of someone he named and I told him I did not know that person. Then they led me towards the military watchtower at the entrance to our camp where they blindfolded me and left me for about 20 minutes. During this time soldiers swore at me and called me “a son of a whore”. They also kicked me on the legs.
Then I was taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on the floor between the soldiers’ legs. On the way a soldier shone a torch in my eyes and when he saw that my eyes were open under the blindfold he slapped me and called me “a son of a whore”. 
The jeep drove to the  police station in Etzion settlement where I was taken to a room and left on the floor until around 9:00 a.m. I wanted to sleep but the soldier told me I was not allowed to sleep. I was very uncomfortable and tired. I asked the soldier to remove the tie but he refused. I was not given any food or drink and the soldier gave me a hard time before he allowed me to use the toilet. At around 9:00 a.m. I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the tie and the blindfold. Then he greeted me and asked me for my name. I asked to speak to a lawyer and he phoned one for me and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to be afraid and not to confess. The interrogator was listening and when I told the lawyer I was not afraid the interrogator laughed sarcastically. The conversation with the lawyer was very short. Neither the lawyer nor the interrogator told me anything about the right to silence. 
Then the interrogator gave me a specific date and told me I was with two other boys and the three of us had set fire to a settler’s car. I told him this was not true and I denied the accusation. The interrogator accused me of lying and named one of the other boys. Then he grabbed my genitals and twisted them hard and caused me a lot of pain. He wanted me to confess against the other two boys he claimed were with me. I was in such pain that I started to cry. He twisted my genitals again and I was in such pain that I confessed to throwing two stones at soldiers which missed. I also gave him the name of a person who was shot dead by soldiers. I was willing to do anything to stop him twisting my genitals.
I felt the interrogation lasted for a long time. The interrogator took me outside and brought me in again several times. During this time the interrogator raised his voice at me, told me I was an “idiot” and swore at me saying I was “a son of a whore”. In the end he showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them. When I asked him to translate the document he did and I signed because it was identical to what I had told him.
After the interrogation I was taken to a cell where I was strip searched. I was able to sleep for about 30 minutes before being taken to Ofer prison. 
At Ofer I was strip searched again and was asked to crouch up and down and then I was taken to Section 19. I arrived there at around 2:00 p.m.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents did not attend the hearing because they were not informed about it and the proceedings were adjourned. 
In all I had about seven military court hearings. At the last hearing I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 1 month in prison in addition to a suspended sentence of 1 month valid for 8 months. I accepted the plea bargain because it meant I would be released within a week. 
The last hearing was on the 18 December and I was released on the 24 December 2018. I went home with my father who was waiting for me outside Ofer. I arrived home late at night.