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Testimony: S.A.A.N.


Name: S.A.A.N.
Age: 16
Date: 30 September 2018
Location: Nahhalin, West Bank
Accusation: Setting a fire

On 30 September 2018, a 16-year-old youth from Nahhalin is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:30 a.m. He reports being interrogated without first being informed of his right to silence. He is released without charge 2-weeks later.

I woke up at around 2:30 a.m. when I heard a noise in my bedroom. I opened my eyes and I saw an Israeli soldier standing over my head. The soldier told me to get up because I was under arrest. He did not say why and did not give us any documents. 
I got dressed and then the soldiers took me outside where they tied my hands to the front with 3 plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were not painful. Then they blindfolded me and took me into the back of a jeep where they made me sit on the metal floor. 
The jeep drove to the nearby military base at a checkpoint and I was put in a shipping container. A soldier pushed me and I fell and hurt my leg. Then he lifted me up and threw me on a couch where I remained until around 6:00 a.m. Then I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement.
At Etzion the interrogator removed the blindfold and grabbed me by the neck and dragged me to a shipping container while I was still tied. He phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to confess. I was suspicious of this lawyer and I did not feel he was genuine. Neither the lawyer nor the interrogator told me anything about the right to silence. 
Then the interrogator accused of setting fire to the fence near a settlement. When I denied the accusation the interrogator swore at my father and cursed him and told me it did not seem to him I was interested in finishing up quickly. I told him I was innocent and did not do anything wrong. He then removed the ties and tied them again but with my hands behind my back. 
Then the interrogator took me to another container and two people came in and one of them told me I was an “asshole” because I had not confessed yet. I told him I did not do anything wrong and had nothing to confess about. Then he took a broom stick and beat me on my stomach and head. I was in pain. That person left the room and then came back again and beat me with the broom stick all over my body. 
I did not confess to anything and kept repeating that I had not done anything wrong. Then the interrogator showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them but I refused to sign. Then they took my photograph and fingerprints. 
Then I was left in an outdoor area in the cold for about 4 hours. Then I was strip searched and taken to a cell. About 4 hours later I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched again and then I was taken into section 13.
The following day I was taken to ofer military  court. My parents did not attend because they were not informed about the hearing. My detention was extended and the hearing was adjourned and I was taken back to prison. 
I spent about two weeks in prison. During this time I was interrogated twice at Kiryat Arba. The interrogators repeated the same accusation but I did not confess to anything. 
During one of the interrogations the interrogator allowed me to speak to a lawyer before he started to question me. The lawyer told me to stick to my position and not confess. I was not informed of my right to silence during the two additional interrogations. 
During this time I had 3 more military court hearings. At the last hearing, which was on 14October 2018, the military judge decided to release me without charge. I did not have to pay any fines. I went home with my parents later that day.