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Home » Children »

Testimony: R.T.I.R.

 

Name:  R.T.I.R.
Age:  14
Date:  19 August 2018
Location:  Tuqu, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 19 August 2018, a 14-year-old boy from Tuqu is served with a summons by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. He reports being interrogated in Etzion settlement without first being informed of his right to silence or his right to consult with a lawyer.

At around 2:00 a.m. I received a message on my smart phone that the Israeli military was active in our village. I got out of bed, looked out the window and saw about 9 soldiers heading towards my uncle’s house. Shortly afterwards I heard my uncle call my name and then I saw the soldiers walking towards our house; my uncle was showing them the way. 
 
My father opened the door but the soldiers did not enter. The commander handed me a summons written in Arabic and took a picture of me holding it. The summons said that I had to turn myself in at the police station in Etzion settlement at 8:00 a.m. the same day. The soldiers then left the neighbourhood but I could not sleep.
 
At 8:00 a.m. my father and I were outside the Etzion police station. My uncle also accompanied us. We waited about 30 minutes and then I was taken inside without my father or uncle. Inside the police station they took my fingerprints and a DNA sample from my mouth. Then I was taken to a small room and they turned the light off for about 15 minutes. Then I was taken for interrogation.
 
The interrogator was in civilian clothes. He did not inform me of my rights. He extended his hand to me and told me I had to confess if I wanted to go home. He told me he sympathised with me because he had a boy my age and told me I should be at home not in prison. Then he tied my hands to the front with two plastic ties on top of each other. The ties were painful. 
 
The interrogator then told me I had not learned my lesson from my previous arrest and he accused me of throwing stones. He told me there were confessions against me by other children from the village. He also told me there was photographic evidence against me and showed me some photographs. I denied the accusation. 
 
After I denied the accusation the interrogator lost his temper and started to shout at me saying boys from the village don’t ever learn the lesson, not even when one of them is killed. He named a young man from our village who was killed by soldiers and then swore at me calling me “a son of a whore”. Each time I denied the accusation he called me “a son of a whore”. 
 
Half way through the interrogation he blindfolded me and told me I did not deserve to see. He told me I had 5 minutes to confess and if I did not he was going to bring my father in. Still I did not confess
 
More than half way through the questioning the interrogator phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to worry and that I would have a military court hearing the following day. He also told me to keep my morale high and not to tell the interrogator anything. 
 
The interrogation lasted for about 30 minutes and the whole time the interrogator tried to get a confession from me but I did not confess. Then I was taken to see another interrogator.
 
The second interrogator informed me of my rights at the very beginning. He had a voice recorder which he turned on. He tried to extract confessions from me against other boys but I refused to confess against anyone. The interrogator then showed me documents in Hebrew and wanted me to sign. When I refused he lost his temper, pulled my thumb and forced me to sign with my thumb print.
 
The second session lasted a short time and then I was taken outside where I sat on the ground in the hot sun from around 11:00 a.m. until around 4:00 p.m. I was not given any food or drink but I was allowed to use the toilet once. Then I was examined by a doctor and taken to a cell at Etzion. I was still tied and blindfolded. 
 
Inside the cell the ties and blindfold were removed and I was searched in my underwear and told to crouch up and down. I was left in the cell for about 5 hours. I managed to sleep for 2 out of the 5 hours. Then I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched before being taken to Section 13. I ate and went to bed.
 
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My father was in court and the hearing was adjourned. In all I had around 7 military court hearings. At the last hearing I was told my father had to pay 1,500 shekels bail although there was no evidence against me. They also wanted my father to bring two guarantors. My father refused to pay the bail and refused to bring guarantors and argued in court there was no evidence against me and I had to be released unconditionally. The court refused to release me and I spent 6 weeks in prison.
 
I was finally released on the 30 September 2018 and I was told I had another hearing on the 22 October 2018. I went back to the military court on the specified date as requested but they refused to allow me in; they told me my name was not on the list. I have not heard anything from them since then.