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Home » Children »

Testimony: M.W.I.

Name: M.W.I.
Age: 16 years
Date of incident: 6 October 2013
Location: Al Khadr, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
   
On 6 October 2013, a 16-year-old boy from the village of Al Khadr, is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 1:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones.
 
“I was asleep when I woke up at around 1:00 a.m. to the sound of noise outside the house. I got up to see what was going on and found that my parents and siblings were also awake and that Israeli soldiers were at our door. The soldiers were about to break the door when my father rushed to open it. About 10 soldiers then entered the house. One of the soldiers asked my mother for our birth certificates. Once I was identified the commander said they were going to take me. He did not say why or where they were taking me and we were not provided with any documentation. I was in shorts and a T-shirt and my mother insisted on fetching me a warmer top.”
 
“I was led out into the street where army jeeps and a troop carrier were waiting. My hands were then tied behind my back with a single plastic tie, which wasn’t too painful, and I was pushed into a vehicle and made to sit on the metal floor. I was also blindfolded. Once inside the vehicle I was kicked in the back, struck with a weapon and slapped across the face. I screamed in pain. Then the vehicle started to move and drove for about 20 minutes. I think I was taken to the settlement of Gilo. Once we arrived I was taken out of the vehicle and made to sit on a bench. It was very cold. Somebody removed my blindfold and hand ties and gave me a cup of coffee to drink.”
 
“Sometime later, my hands were re-tied and I was blindfolded and driven for about 30 minutes to the settlement of Etzion. When we arrived I was made to sit outside on the ground for about 30 minutes before being taken for interrogation. Inside the interrogation room my blindfold was removed but I remained tied. I was made to sit on a chair. There was one interrogator in civilian clothes and a soldier. The interrogator accused me of throwing stones at soldiers and told me to confess. He also wanted me to tell him who else was throwing stones. I told him I didn’t throw any stones and I didn’t know who did. I was not told that I had any rights. About 30 minutes into the interrogation the interrogator asked me if I wanted my family to appoint a lawyer for me. I told him I wanted a lawyer and he then asked for my family’s phone number. He called the number and spoke to my mother and told her I was refusing to confess and that she should come and convince me to confess. My mother didn’t come.”
 
“The interrogator kept insisting that I confess to throwing stones at soldiers and claimed that other children had confessed against me and that I had to confess. I told him I didn’t see any point in confessing if other children had already confessed against me. Then the interrogator took me outside and showed me other boys who were blindfolded and were sitting on the ground in the distance. He then threatened me saying if I didn’t confess he would give me an electric shock. He then produced an electric baton and placed it in front of him, but did not hit me with it. I was scared and then confessed that I threw stones at soldiers.”
 
“The interrogation lasted for less than an hour. As far as I know it was not recorded. The interrogator wrote a statement in Arabic and then asked me to sign it, which I did. I was then taken to another room and was later taken to Ofer prison where I was put in a cell with other boys. I was told that I would be taken to court the next day, but this never happened. On Thursday, 10 October, I was taken to Ofer military court and waited outside a courtroom. At around noon soldiers called my name and told me they were going to release me. My mother was waiting outside and I went home with her. I was released without being charged. I never saw a lawyer and my family didn’t have to pay any money.”