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Testimony: W.H.G.


Name: W.H.G.
Age: 15
Date of incident: 17 January 2015
Location: Surif, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
On 17 January 2015, a 15-year-old youth from Surif is arrested by Israeli soldiers during a protest against the closure of a road near his village. He is accused of throwing stones and serves four months in prison inside Israel.
I was arrested on the main road at around 11.00 a.m. There was a demonstration at the time calling for the opening of the main road that connects our village to the nearby village of Al-Jab’a. I went with my cousin to watch the demonstration. At one point Israeli soldiers tried to disperse the demonstration and young men started to throw stones at them.
The soldiers then ran into the crowd and started to chase everybody. I tried to run as fast as I could but the soldiers caught me and two other boys from the village. I was terrified and started to cry. More than 10 soldiers beat me and kicked me all over my body. They were very violent. They tied my hands to the back with one plastic tie but it wasn’t painful. They made me sit on the side of the road for about 15 minutes and then violently pushed me into the back of a jeep. I was in pain as I was thrown on the floor of the jeep with my hands tied.
The jeep drove for about 15 minutes and then stopped at the police station in Etzion settlement. I was taken to a courtyard where I waited for about 30 minutes. An interrogator then took me to a room.
The interrogator wore a police uniform. He cut off the tie and showed me a document written in Arabic which said I had the right to silence and the right to consult with a lawyer. I understood what the document said but I didn’t know any lawyers to call. The interrogator called my aunt and told her I was at Etzion.
The interrogator accused me of throwing stones at soldiers. I was scared of the interrogator and decide to confess. I told him I did throw stones at soldiers with other boys. The interrogation lasted for about an hour. After I confessed I was photographed and fingerprinted. I was then taken into a courtyard where I was tied as before. I was also blindfolded. I remained there for about three hours before I was shackled and handcuffed and put in the back of a troop carrier.
The carrier drove for about 30 minutes and then stopped at the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. At Kiryat Arba I was taken to see a doctor. The doctor removed the handcuffs and the blindfold and examined me. When the doctor was finished I was handcuffed and taken into the back of a troop carrier where I sat on a seat. The carrier drove for about one-and-a-half hours before it stopped at Ofer prison. It was just after midnight.
At Ofer the soldiers asked me to take off all my clothes for a security check. I was embarrassed to take off my clothes but when they told me soldiers would beat me if I didn’t take off my clothes, I decided to strip as they ordered me. I was given prison uniforms and taken into Section 13.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. A lawyer was there but my parents were not there because they were not notified. The hearing was adjourned. I had five hearings. In the end I was sentenced to four months in jail and fined 2,500 NIS. I was also served with a suspended sentence of nine months valid for five years.
I spent about two weeks in Ofer and then I was transferred to Hasharon prison inside Israel where I spent about six weeks. I used to come to Ofer for court hearings. When I was sentenced I was transferred to Megiddo prison also inside Israel where I spent about two months. At Hasharon I studied Arabic and mathematics. I was released from Megiddo prison on 31 May 2015, at around 4.00 p.m.