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Testimony: M.K.H.

 Name:  M.K.H.
 Age: 16 years
 Date of incident:  21 January 2015
 Location:  Dura, West Bank
 Accusation:  Protesting/throwing stones

On 21 January 2015, a 16-year-old youth from Dura is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2.00 a.m. and accused of participating in a demonstration and throwing stones. 

“I was asleep when my father woke me up and told me Israeli soldiers were in the house and wanted to arrest me. It was 2.00 a.m. I got dressed and went to where the soldiers were. I saw the soldiers give my father a document saying they wanted to take me for questioning in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. They did not say what they were going to question me about. I was taken outside and my hands were tied to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and one connecting the two. The ties were tight. I was also blindfolded. I was led to the centre of the village where I was put in the back of a jeep and made me sit on the metal floor.”
“The jeep drove for about 15 minutes before stopping at a nearby Israeli military base. I was put in a caravan where I sat on the floor for about 15 minutes. A soldier then took me back into the back to the jeep. This time I sat on a seat. The jeep drove for about 30 minutes before arriving at the settlement of Kiryat Arba. I was immediately taken to see a doctor who examined me and gave me a questionnaire with medical questions about my health for me to answer. I was then taken to a room with seats. I sat on a seat until around 7.00 a.m. when a soldier took me to the interrogation room.”
“The interrogator said he was an intelligence officer. His name was Wael. Another interrogator joined him and the two of them took part in interrogating me. They each asked me questions. They did not inform me of my right to silence or of my right to consult with a lawyer. One of the interrogators accused me of organising and taking part in protests and of throwing stones at soldiers. One interrogator then removed the ties and showed me photographs he claimed were of me throwing stones at soldiers. I told him they were not photographs of me. The interrogation lasted for about an hour. I denied the accusations.”
“After the first interrogation I was then taken to a nearby room where an Israeli policeman started to interrogate me. The policeman told me I had the right to silence and the right to consult with a lawyer. He also told me I had to speak. He asked me for my father’s telephone number and asked him to appoint me a lawyer. The interrogator asked my father whether I suffered from any illnesses because I sat there silently and didn’t say anything and he thought I was ill. The interrogator told me I had to speak and to confess to throwing stones and that if I didn’t confess I would spend six months in prison. I remained silent which angered the interrogator. He called another policeman who came into the room and started to slap me. The interrogator then repeated the same accusations and I continued to deny them. He then printed out my statement and asked me to sign it but I refused. I was then photographed and fingerprinted.”
“After the interrogation I was put in a jeep. I was blindfolded and handtied like before. The jeep drove for about 30 minutes before stopping at the settlement of Etzion. On arrival at Etzion I was searched and given some food. I remained there until around 6.00 p.m. I was then handcuffed and shackled and driven to Ofer prison, near Ramallah. The journey took about one hour. At Ofer I was strip searched. I was given prison clothes and taken into Section 13 with other minors.”
“The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. A lawyer was there to represent me. My parents were not at court because they were not informed. The hearing was adjourned three times. On the last hearing the military court decided to release me for lack of evidence. I went home with my parents on 6 February 2015.”