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Testimony: Q.S.M.S.


Name: Q.S.M.S.
Age: 17
Date: 28 January 2020
Location: Tubas, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones/weapons possession

On 28 January 2020, a 17-year-old minor from Tubas was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 4:30 a.m. He reports being interrogated multiple times without always being informed of his legal rights prior to each interrogation. 

About 25 Israeli soldiers entered our home at around 4:30 a.m. The front door was not locked and they came in without making a sound. I woke up when soldiers came into my bedroom. I  opened my eyes and saw three soldiers over my head. One of them told me I had a minute to get dressed because I was under arrest. They did not give a reason for the arrest and did not give my parents any documents. 
I barely had time to put some clothes on before the soldiers dragged me into the living room where my hands were tied behind my back with one plastic tie which was very tight and painful. I was then led on foot for about a kilometer to waiting military jeeps. When we arrived at the jeeps I was blindfolded and put on the metal floor of one of the jeeps. 
We drove to a settlement where the soldiers left me on the ground for about four hours. Then I was taken to a room where I was examined by a doctor. The doctor removed the blindfold during the examination and asked me if I took any medications and if I had any chronic illnesses.
After the medical check I was taken to Huwwara military base where I was searched in my boxer shorts and before being taken to a cell. A few hours later I was taken to Megiddo prison inside Israel where I was searched with my clothes on before being taken to the juvenile section.
The following day, at around 1:00 p.m. I was taken for an interrogation. The interrogator introduced himself to me and told me I had the right to remain silent. Then he told me if I remained silent the judge would not be happy. Then he told me I could consult with a lawyer. I told him I wanted to call my parents and ask them to appoint a lawyer for me. He did not call a lawyer for me and I did not speak to one. 
Then he accused me of throwing stones and of weapon possession. I denied the accusations. He told me he had confessions against me from other boys. Still, I continued to deny the accusation. He questioned me for about 90 minutes and was calm and polite most of the time. At the end of the interrogation he showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them but I refused to sign something written in a language I did not understand. 
Then another interrogator came into the room. This one did not introduce himself and did not inform me of my rights. He was aggressive and spoke loudly and accused me of the same accusations.  When I denied the accusation he yelled at me and told me I had to tell them about the weapon in my possession. I told him I did not have any weapons. He swore at me and called me son of a whore and banged the table many times. He threatened to arrest my mother and father if I did not confess. Still, I did not confess. He typed everything into his computer and did not show me any documents to sign. He questioned me for about 25 minutes.
After the second interrogation I was taken back to Megiddo. The following day I was taken for another interrogation. This time I was not informed of my rights and I did not speak to a lawyer. The interrogator repeated the same accusations and wanted me to confess but I did not confess. I was questioned for 30 minutes and at the end the interrogator wanted me to sign documents written in Hebrew but again I refused to sign. After the interrogation I was taken to a military court. My parents were not there because they did not know about the hearing. The hearing was adjourned. 
I had about 14 military court hearings which my mother attended. At the last hearing, which was on 10 March 2020, 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 eight months suspended for three years. I accepted the plea bargain because I wanted closure and I was tired of going back and forth to the court.
I spent my sentence at Megiddo. I was released at Al Jalama checkpoint on 28 April 2020 and I went home with my brother and cousin. I arrived home at around 2:00 p.m.