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Testimony: I.M.M.B.


Name: I.M.M.B.
Age: 16
Date: 4 July 2020
Location:  Hebron, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 4 July 2020, a 16-year-old minor from Hebron was arrested by Israeli soldiers during clashes in the Old city at 4:00 p.m. and accused of throwing stones. He reports being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He reports being sentenced to 2 months in prison as well as a 12-month suspended sentence. 

I was in the old city of Hebron in an area called Bab Elzawyeh at around 4:00 p.m. At the time there were clashes with Israeli soldiers. Five soldiers approached me and one of them hit me on my head. Then another soldier blindfolded me and tied my hands to the back with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. He tightened them hard and they caused me a lot of pain and left marks on my wrists for days. He also shackled my feet with metal shackles and took me to the back of a military jeep where I sat on a seat.  
The jeep drove me to the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba where I was taken for interrogation. I arrived there in the early hours of the evening.
The interrogator removed the hand ties and the blindfold and asked me for my name. Then he accused me of throwing stones at soldiers in the old city and told me soldiers had testified against me. I denied the accusation and told him I was not involved in any stone throwing. He questioned me for about an hour and kept repeating the same accusation. He sometimes was calm and polite and other times he was angry and raised his voice as he asked me questions. 
About half way through the interrogation he told me I could speak to a lawyer. Then he phoned a lawyer and handed the telephone over to me. I hardly managed to speak two sentences with the lawyer before the line was cut off. The interrogator did not say anything about my right to silence. 
Later the interrogator showed me photographs and I confessed to throwing stones at soldiers. The interrogator then showed me documents in Hebrew and asked me to sign them and did not translate them for me. I signed some but not others. 
After the interrogation I was taken to the police station in Etzion settlement where I was searched in my boxer shorts before being taken into a cell where I was left by myself for 16 days. On my third day at Etzion I had a military court hearing on video link. My parents were not included in the link and the hearing was adjourned.
I had six military court hearings and at the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to two months in prison and given a suspended sentence of 12 months in prison valid for one year. I don’t think my parents paid any fines because of our bad financial situation. I accepted the plea bargain because my lawyer told me the prison sentence would be longer if I rejected it. 
Then, after spending 16 days in a cell at Etzion police station I was taken to Megiddo prison inside Israel. On arrival at Megiddo I was searched in my underwear. At Megiddo I spent 14 days in a quarantine cell with other prisoners and then after 14 days I was transferred into the juvenile section. 
I did not have any family visits because of the Corona Virus regulations but I was allowed to make phone calls once every two weeks. The telephone was provided by the prison authorities and was monitored. 
In prison I lifted weights to keep fit. I was released on 30 August 2020, at Al Jalama checkpoint. I went home in a taxi by myself because my parents were not informed of my release. I arrived home at around midnight.