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Home » Children »

Testimony: M.R.D.S.

 

Name: M.R.D.S.
Age: 15
Date: 7 May 2017
Location: Tuqu', West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 7 May 2017, a 16-year-old youth from Tuqu' is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. He reports not being informed of his right to silence or his right to consult with a lawyer until after his interrogation was over.

I woke up at around 2:00 a.m. to the sound of banging at our front door. I don’t know who answered but I got up and went to the living room where I found a group of Israeli soldiers inside the house asking for me. They talked to my father and gave him a document in Hebrew but we didn’t understand what it said. Then the soldiers asked to see my birth certificate and then told me to get dressed because I was under arrest.
 
After I dressed I was taken out of the house where I was blindfolded and my hands were tied behind my back with one plastic tie. The tie was very tight and painful.  By this time young men from the neighbourhood started to throw stones at the soldiers. In response the soldiers put me in front and used me as a human shield. I was lucky not to be hurt.
 
I was then put in the back of a jeep where I sat on a seat. The jeep drove towards the entrance to the village where I was examined by a doctor. The doctor removed the blindfold during the examination and then he put it back on afterwards. I was then taken to the military watchtower where I sat on a chair for about three hours.
 
After about three hours I was taken back to the jeep which drove towards the nearby military base where I was put in a shipping container until around 8:00 a.m. Then I was taken back to the jeep which drove for about 30 minutes to the police station in Etzion settlement . I was immediately taken for interrogation.
 
The interrogator did not immediately remove the tie and the blindfold and did not inform me of my rights. He started by saying he was like a father to me and that I had to tell him the truth and tell him everything. I told him I did not understand what he wanted from me. Then he accused me of throwing stones and Molotov cocktail at soldiers. When I denied the accusation he became very angry and asked me to lift my hands up and then stuck his fingers in my stomach. He also slapped me. I was terrified.
 
He interrogated me for about four hours and in the end I confessed to throwing stones at soldiers because I did not want him to implicate me in more serious offences. I was also very scared and did not want him to physically abuse me anymore. I confessed to throwing a stone with a slingshot but missed the target.
 
After I had confessed the interrogator gave me a document which said I had the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer. Then he printed out a document in Hebrew and when I asked him what it was he told me it was a document about my release. He asked me to sign it and I did. I later realised it was my statement and had nothing to do with my release.
 
After the interrogation I was photographed and fingerprinted. Then the interrogator showed me an aerial image of my village and pointed to some houses and wanted me to tell him who lived in those houses. I told him I did not know. He also asked me to confess against other boys from the village and to say that they throw stones but I told him I did not know anyone. Then they searched me in my underwear and then took me to a room where I waited for about two hours.
 
After about two hours I was handcuffed and shackled and taken to the back of a troop carrier where I sat on a seat. The carrier drove me to Ofer prison. On arrival at Ofer I was strip searched and taken to Section 13.
 
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents did not attend the hearing but my lawyer was there and the hearing was adjourned. I had more than 10 military court hearings which my parents attended and I was allowed to speak to them. At the last hearing I was sentenced to four months in prison and fined 1,500 shekels. I was also given a suspended sentence of four months suspended for three years. I do not know whether there was a plea bargain or not.
 
I spent my entire prison sentence at Ofer where I studied Arabic, Hebrew and mathematics. I was released on 23 August 2017.