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Home » Children »

Testimony: O.Y.O.J.

 

Name:  O.Y.O.J.
Age: 16
Date of incident: 27 November 2016
Location: Nahhalin, West Bank
Accusation: Starting a fire
 
On 27 November 2016, a 16-year-old youth from Nahhalin is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 5:00 a.m. and accused of starting a fire by the nearby settlement. He is released without charge 15 hours later.
 
I woke up to the sound of Israeli soldiers banging at our front door at around 5:00 a.m. When my father opened the door the commander told him they had come to arrest me. The soldiers gave my father a document and told him they were going to take me to Etzion for questioning but they didn’t say why.
 
After I got dressed the soldiers took me outside the house where they tied my hands to the back with one plastic tie which was very tight. They also blindfolded me. I was then taken to the back of a jeep where they made me sit on the floor.
 
The jeep drove for about 30 minutes and then stopped at a military base near the settlement of Gilo. They took me to a room where they made me sit on a chair. Another detainee was in the room and a soldier was guarding us. I remained in the room until around 9:00 a.m. I was able to sleep and the soldiers allowed me to use the toilet and to drink water.
 
At around 9:00 a.m. I was taken back to the jeep where I sat on the floor again. The jeep drove for about 15 minutes to the police station in Etzion settlement. On arrival at Etzion I was taken to a courtyard where I stood for about an hour. Then I was taken to a dark room where a policeman started to beat me hard all over my body. He kicked me hard without saying a word. Then he took me back to the courtyard where I stood for another 30 minutes before the interrogator took me for questioning.
 
The interrogator started to question me while I was still tied and blindfolded. He told me if I didn’t confess he was going to lock me up for a long time. I told him I had nothing to confess to. Then he removed the blindfold and sat me down on a chair and told me I had the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer. I told him I didn’t know any lawyers. Then he accused me of starting a fire in the undergrowth near the settlement. I told him this was not true. He then took me to another interrogator who accused me of the same accusations.
 
The second interrogator was more aggressive. He had a stick with him and beat me with it when I denied the accusation. He also kicked and punched me. He interrogated me for about an hour and I continued to deny the accusation. Then he blindfolded me and took me to a courtyard where I remained standing for about four hours. A soldier was there to guard me and he prevented me from sitting down each time I tried.
 
Soldiers then took me for another interrogation by a policeman who typed my statement on his computer. He did not print it out and did not ask me to sign it. Then he took me to a police car and made me sit on a seat.
 
The police car drove for about 15 minutes to the nearby settlement of Bitar Ilit where I was interrogated again. This interrogator questioned me for about 15 minutes and accused me of the same accusations. He started by telling I had the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer. He called my father and told him where I was and that I was accused of starting a fire near the settlement. He recorded everything on the computer. He asked me whether I wanted to confess and I told him I didn’t. Then he printed out my statement in Hebrew and translated it for me and asked me to sign it and I did.
 
After I signed the statement I was released without charge at around 8:00 p.m. I arrived home at around 9:00 p.m.