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Testimony: H.A.S.R.


Name:  H.A.S.R.
Age:  15
Date:  26 November 2019
Location:  Aida camp, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones/pipe bombs

On 26 November 2019, a 15-year-old minor from Aida refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers during clashes at 9:00 p.m. He reports being informed of his right to silence but not speaking to a lawyer prior to interrogation. 

There were clashes with Israeli soldiers near the military watchtower in our camp. It was around 9:00 p.m. and I happened to be in the area. Soldiers were chasing boys who were throwing stones and I was watching. 
Suddenly, about 15 soldiers ran towards me and started to beat me. I was hit on the head by one of the soldiers and I was in severe pain. He swore at me and called me “a son of a whore”
One of the soldiers tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was very tight and painful. He also blindfolded me before leading me towards the military watchtower at Rachel’s Tomb. I was left outside the watchtower for about an hour before being taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on a seat. 
The jeep took me to Atarot police station for interrogation. At Atarot I was left outside in the cold for about an hour and then I was taken into the interrogation room. By then it was around 11:30 p.m.
The interrogator removed the tie and the blindfold and shackled my feet. He told me my file was ready. Then he told me I had the right to consult with a lawyer and the right to remain silent. He also told me I had the right for one of my parents to attend my interrogation. Then he asked me if I wanted a lawyer and I told him it was up to him. He then told me in that case there was no need for a lawyer. He also did not call my parents to attend the interrogation.
Then he accused me of throwing stones and pipe bombs at soldiers. I denied the accusation. He then showed me video footage of clashes with soldiers and accused me of taking part. I denied the accusation again. Then he placed his pistol on the table in front of him in a threatening gesture and told me if I did not confess he was going to place a knife next to me and accuse me of attempting to stab. When I told him I was not going to confess to something I did not do he told me there was no need for me to confess because he had all the evidence he needed to convict me. He questioned me for about 10 minutes and then he showed me documents in Hebrew and then he translated them for me and asked me to sign them and I did.
After the interrogation the interrogator called my father and told him I was detained. Then I was taken to Ofer prison where I was strip searched and then taken to section 13. 
The following day I had a military court hearing which my parents did not know about. My lawyer was there and the military judge extended my detention and the hearing was adjourned. 
I had about 10 military court hearings and at the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to three months in prison and fined NIS 1,000. I was also given a suspended sentence of 10 months valid for two years. My lawyer advised me to accept the plea bargain and I did. He told me if I rejected it I would be sentenced to a longer time in prison.
I spent two months at Ofer and then I was transferred to Damoun prison inside Israel where the conditions were worse. There were protests against the prison authorities and I was moved to a cell by myself as punishment for taking part in the protests. I was left in the cell for two days. The cell had one small window near the ceiling and was hardly long enough for me to stretch my legs while sleeping. I then joined the other detainees and we all went on hunger strike for three days. I refused to eat anything but I drank water. 
I was released at Al Jalama checkpoint on 12 February 2020. My parents did not know I was going to be released on that day. I called my father and told him to come and pick me up. I waited for him at Al Jalama and we both went home together. We arrived home at around 10:00 p.m. In prison I exercised and I helped with the cleaning. My family visited me twice.