Testimony - M.A.I.
|Date of incident:||3 August 2013|
|Location:||Al Khadr, West Bank|
On 3 August 2013, a 16-year-old boy from Al Khadr village is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones.
“I was asleep when my father woke me up at around 2:00 a.m. and told me Israeli soldiers had surrounded our house. I then heard banging at our front door. I quickly got up and went to the living room. When my father opened the door four soldiers entered. One of the soldiers asked my father who Muhammad was and my father pointed at me. A soldier immediately told me to step aside and said I was being arrested. He didn’t tell my father why I was being arrested and we weren’t given any documentation. Two soldiers then dragged me out of the house. I asked them to allow me to get dressed but they didn’t allow me. I barely had time to put my boots on and I was taken in my shorts.”
“I was dragged aggressively to a waiting military jeep but I was not beaten. My hands were painfully tied behind my back with a single plastic tie and I was blindfolded. I complained about the ties but I was told to shut up. I was then put inside the jeep and made to sit on the metal floor. The jeep drove for about an hour and stopped several times on the way to make more arrests. Some of the people arrested sat next to me on the floor. At around 3:30 a.m. we arrived at Etzion police station. My blindfold was removed but I remained tied as a doctor asked me some general questions about my health. I was then taken outside to a courtyard where I waited for a while before being put in a shipping container. I remained in the shipping container with other detainees until around 7:00 a.m.”
“At around 7:00 a.m. I was taken to an interrogation room. The interrogator wore civilian clothes. A soldier removed my hand tie and I was told to sit on a chair. I asked to use the bathroom and I was allowed to. An armed soldier remained in the interrogation room with me and the interrogator. The interrogator spoke Arabic. I wasn’t told that I could contact a lawyer or that I did not have to answer their questions. The interrogator immediately asked me 'why do you throw stones at soldiers?’ I told him I didn’t throw stones. The first interrogation only lasted for five minutes of so, following which I was handcuffed and taken back to the shipping container. I remained in the shipping container for about 30 minutes before I was interrogated by a second interrogator.”
“The second interrogator removed my handcuffs and asked me whether I threw stones. I denied the accusation. I was alone in the room with him. He told me other boys had confessed against me but didn’t tell me their names. Again I told him I didn’t throw stones with anyone. As I spoke the interrogator was typing on a computer. The interrogation lasted for about 15 minutes and I didn’t confess. At the end the interrogator asked me to sign a statement written in Hebrew. I signed it after the interrogator explained to me that he had written exactly what I had told him. I was then fingerprinted and photographed, before being taken back to the shipping container where I waited until noon. I was then brought some food and taken to a prison cell where I stayed until around 11:00 a.m. the following day. The following day I was taken to Ofer prison, near Ramallah.”
“On arrival at Ofer I was given prison clothes. I was taken to section 14 where I stayed with other prisoners my age. I stayed in Ofer for a week. I was never taken to court and I never saw a lawyer or a charge sheet. On the seventh day, at around 7:00 p.m., a policeman called my name and told me I was to be released. The procedure to release me took some time and I was out by 11:00 p.m. on 10 August 2013. My family was not informed of my release so no one was there to take me home. There was a taxi waiting and the driver took me home. My father paid the taxi driver when we arrived. I was very happy to be home and so was my family. During my time in prison I found it very hard not to have freedom.”