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Testimony - A.K.

Name: A.K.
Age: 15 years
Date of incident: 25 August 2013
Location: Deir Nidham, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
On 25 August 2013, a 15-year-old boy from Deir Nidham, in the West Bank, is arrested by Israeli soldiers from his school and accused of throwing stones at settlers.
“I was at school when I heard some boys outside my classroom saying Israeli soldiers had entered our village. We went out to have a look but we didn’t see soldiers. When we got back to the classroom we saw 10 soldiers approaching the school. The soldiers entered my classroom and pointed to the three boys, including me. All the other children in our class are girls. They then made us boys stand next to each other. One soldier approached me and told me to lift my hands up. He said something in Hebrew which I didn’t understand. Then I went back to my seat but the soldiers tied the other two boys and led them outside. The soldiers then asked me to leave with them but I refused. I told them I hadn’t done anything wrong. A group of soldiers then pushed, slapped and kicked me. One soldier smashed my head against the metal bars on the classroom window. Another soldier hit me with an electric stick very hard on my arm. He hit me so hard that my arm was bruised for a week. The electric shock totally paralysed me. I lost control over my muscles and fell to the ground. The soldiers continued to beat me while I was on the ground. I think I lost consciousness for a few seconds because the next thing I knew was that I was handcuffed.”
“The soldiers then took me out of the classroom and walked me for a few minutes but didn’t tell me where they were taking me. They pushed me towards the other two boys and put the three of us into a military jeep. Once inside the jeep a soldier slapped me on the back of my neck.”
“First we were taken to the military base of Neve Yair, near our village. On arrival they blindfolded me and made me sit on the floor of a small room. I sat there for an hour. Then a soldier took me back to the jeep which drove for about one-and-half-hours. The jeep stopped at a clinic. I spent one hour in the sun handcuffed and blindfolded. I was kicked and slapped while waiting and soldiers swore at me. They called me a son of a whore. They said other things in Hebrew which I couldn’t understand. Then a soldier came and took me to a room where I waited for half-an-hour. Then a female soldier came with a questionnaire. She removed the blindfold, asked me some medical questions and recorded the answers on the questionnaire. Then I was blindfolded again and put in a room for two more hours.”
“The three of us were then driven to Binyamin police station, in the West Bank. At Binyamin we sat on the asphalt ground for an hour with our eyes blindfolded and hands tied. I think soldiers were washing cars because I was sprinkled with water every now and then. Then I was taken for interrogation. It was evening and I hadn’t eaten or drunk anything. I asked to use the toilet but they didn’t allow me.”
“The interrogator removed my blindfold but kept my hands tied and introduced himself in Hebrew, I think he said his name was Danny. There was also a soldier in the room. As far as I could tell the interrogation was not recorded. The interrogator asked me if I had a lawyer. I told him I didn’t. He asked me for my father’s mobile number. I gave it to him. He called my father’s number but no one answered. The interrogator told me if I didn’t answer his questions that this would be used as evidence against me. He didn’t tell me anything about my rights. He asked me whether I had thrown stones earlier that day. I told him I hadn’t. He cursed me and called me a donkey and called my father a donkey too.”
“The interrogator then accused me of throwing stones at Route 465 at 10:30 a.m. He told me the three of us threw stones together. He also told me he himself saw me throw stones. I challenged him and asked for evidence but he did not reply. He then told me that my friends had already confessed and if I confessed too he would release me. I didn’t believe him. I told him I didn’t throw stones. He told me to confess that me and my friends threw stones. I told him I didn’t have anything to confess. The interrogator was angry and shouted at me. I told him that the soldiers beat me very badly. He told me they have a right to beat me and that I was going to be put in prison if I didn’t confess. The interrogation lasted for about 45 minutes and then I was taken out of the room where I waited with the two other boys. Then I was taken to sign papers written in Hebrew. When I refused to sign because I didn’t understand what was written the person who was in the room slapped me on my left ear. Throughout the interrogation I didn’t speak to my parents or to a lawyer.”
“After the interrogation I was blindfolded and taken to Ofer prison. We arrived at about 12:30 a.m. I was taken for a security check where I was told to take off my clothes except my underwear. I was then taken to a prison cell. The other prisoners made me some food which was my first meal since I was taken out of the classroom in the morning. I spent the night in Ofer and the following day, at around 9:30 p.m., I was released. I didn’t appear in court and didn’t see or speak to a lawyer. They called my name and told me I was going to be released. My parents were not informed about my release so they were not there to take me home. I took a taxi with the other two boys. My parents were very happy to see me when I got home. I was released without a charge and without a fine.”