|Date:||11 November 2018|
|Location:||Al Arrub, West Bank|
On 11 November 2018, a 16-year-old youth from Al Arrub refugee camp is arrested by Israeli soldiers during clashes at 1:00 p.m. He reports being interrogated without being informed of his legal rights.
I was with a friend near the agricultural college close to where I live. It was around 1:00 p.m. There were clashes with Israeli soldiers at the time and some boys were throwing stones.
Three soldiers stopped me and my friend. They soon released my friend but told me I was under arrest. A soldier tied my hands to the front with one plastic tie which was very tight and painful. Then he blindfolded me and took me to the back of a jeep where he made me sit on the metal floor.
The jeep drove to the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. On the way the soldiers slapped and swore at me and called my mother and sisters whores. I felt humiliated even though I don’t have any sisters.
At Kiryat Arba I waited outside for about 2 hours before being driven to the police station in Etzion settlement. I waited outside for about 30 minutes before being taken inside for interrogation. By then it was around 5:00 p.m.
The interrogator removed the tie and the blindfold and accused me of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at soldiers. I denied the accusation. The interrogator did not inform me of my rights and did not allow me to speak to a lawyer. He told me to answer all his questions and not to keep denying the accusation. He turned a voice recorder on and then he showed me some photographs of clashes with soldiers. He told me I was among the boys seen in the photographs. When I denied the accusations he thumped the table and raised his voice at me urging me to confess. I denied the accusation again and told him I did not do anything wrong.
The interrogation lasted for about 45 minutes and the interrogator kept insisting I had to confess. He told me he was going to send me to another interrogator who beats boys if I did not confess. When I told him I was not going to confess to something I did not do he took me to see the other interrogator in the room next door.
The second interrogator was in civilian clothes and looked scary. He had swollen red eyes and a nasty look on his face. He did not inform me of my rights and told me I had to confess to him right away. He told me not to say a word except in response to his questions. He wanted me to confess to throwing stones. When I denied the accusation he thumped the table aggressively and showed me some images on his computer screen. He told me I had to confess. He kept repeating the accusation until I was very tired and decided to confess that I was in one out of the 6 images he showed me. This was about 30 minutes into the interrogation.
After I confessed he allowed me to speak to my brother. Then he asked me whether I wanted to speak to a lawyer and I told him I did. He called a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to confess. When I told the lawyer I had already confessed he told me he would see me in court.
Then the interrogator showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them but I refused to sign. I told him I was not going to sign anything in Hebrew without a lawyer present. Then he showed me a document with two lines in Arabic and the rest was in Hebrew and I refused to sign.
Then I was searched in my underwear before being taken to a cell where I spent a night. I was given some food and I could not sleep well.
In the morning I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched and taken to section 13. The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. The judge denied me release on bail and I was taken back to Ofer. My parents did not attend the hearing because they were not informed about the hearing.
I had 5 hearings in the military court. At the last hearing I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 5 months in prison and a fine of 4,000 shekels. I was also given a suspended sentence of 6 months in prison valid for 1 year. I accepted the plea bargain because the prosecutor was otherwise asking for 10 months in prison if I refused.
I spent my sentence at Ofer prison where I washed dishes and studied Arabic, Hebrew and mathematics. I was released on 4 February 2019 and I went home with my parents.