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Testimony: N.R.B.


Name: N.R.B.
Age: 16
Date of incident: 14 April 2015
Location: Al 'Arrub, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones/demonstrating
On 14 April 2015, a 16-year-old minor from Al 'Arrub refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 2.15 a.m. He reports ill treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He reports being released on NIS 500 bail 6 days after his arrest. 
I woke up to the sound of Israeli soldiers trying to break down our front door. It was around 2.15 a.m. My father got up to open the door but when he got there the soldiers were already inside our home. I went to where the soldiers were and I heard them telling my father they had come to arrest me for throwing stones at Route 60.
The soldiers told my father I would be interrogated at the police station in Etzion settlement. The soldiers gave my father a document with details about my arrest and asked him to sign it. Then they told me to get dressed and took me outside where they tied my hands to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and one connecting the two. The ties were not painful.
The soldiers walked me for about 15 minutes towards Route 60 where a troop carrier was waiting. They made me stand by the carrier for about 10 minutes before I was put in the back of the carrier and made to sit on the floor. Inside the carrier I was blindfolded.
The troop carrier drove for about five minutes and then stopped and the soldiers removed the blindfold. A commander got on and started to look at me and the other detainees who were inside. I saw that we were at the roundabout near the settlement of Etzion. I was blindfolded again and the carrier drove for about 15 minutes and then stopped at Karmi Zur.
At Karmi Zur I was taken to see a doctor. The doctor examined me and asked me to fill a form about my health. Then I was taken into the troop carrier where I sat on the floor. The carrier drove for about 15 minutes before it stopped at Etzion police station. We arrived at Etzion at around 5.00 a.m.
On arrival at Etzion I was blindfolded again and my hands were still tied. I was taken to one of the rooms and the soldiers asked me to stand facing the wall with my hands up. I remained in that position until around 8.00 a.m. The room was very small, the size of a small bathroom. A soldier was standing at the door who told me to lift my hands up each time I tried to put them down.
At around 8.00 a.m. an interrogator took me for questioning. He removed the blindfold and started to talk to me on the way to the interrogation room. He asked me some personal questions: my name, where my family and I lived and so on. Then another interrogator took me to the interrogation room.
The interrogator was in civilian clothes. He started to interrogate me immediately without informing me of any rights. He accused me of throwing stones on the main road near the camp. I told him this was not true. He told me that other boys had confessed against me. I denied the accusation and told him I did not throw stones at anyone. The interrogator swore at me and called my mother a "whore". He cursed my religion and my God. He punched me in my genitals and pushed my head against the table.
The interrogation lasted for about an hour. In the end the interrogator took me to a courtyard where he blindfolded me and made me sit on the ground for about two hours. I was then taken back into the interrogation room.
This time the interrogator accused me of participating in demonstrations in the camp. He also accused me of throwing stones at soldiers. The second round of interrogation lasted for about 30 minutes. I continued to deny the accusations. The interrogator did not confront me with anyone he claimed had confessed against me. Again he took me to the courtyard where I remained for about 30 minutes. Then I was taken for a third round of interrogation.
The third interrogator wore civilian clothes. He did not inform me of my rights. He accused me of the same accusations and I denied all of them. He then took me to see a policeman. The policeman told me I had the right to silence and the right to consult with a lawyer. He accused me of the same accusations and I denied all of them. The policeman brought in a boy who claimed we had been throwing stones at soldiers together but I told the interrogator that the boy was not telling the truth and that I had never met the boy. The policeman wrote down my statement.
When the interrogation was over the policeman called a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. I told the lawyer I did not confess. The lawyer told me to stick to my position. The interrogator then typed up my statement in both Arabic and Hebrew. I read the statement and found it identical to what I had told him and I signed it. I was then photographed and fingerprinted and taken to a cell at Etzion. Only then did they remove the hand ties. I was in the room with other detainees.
Half-an-hour later the policeman came back and took me to the interrogation room. This time he did not interrogate me. He then took me back to the cell where I remained until around 8.00 p.m. Soldiers then shackled and handcuffed me to the front with metal handcuffs and took me to a vehicle which drove for about 30 minutes before it arrived at Ofer prison, near Jerusalem.
At Ofer I was strip searched. I felt humiliated especially when the soldiers asked me to stand up and down while naked. I was then given prison uniform and taken to Section 13.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. A lawyer was there but my parents did not attend. The hearing was adjourned to the following day. The second hearing was adjourned too. I had three hearings. On the third hearing one my parents attended and my lawyer. The lawyer told me the hearing had been adjourned until 19 April 2015.
On 19 April 2015, I was taken to the waiting room at the military court. I was then taken back to Section 13 and I never entered the court room. At around 6.00 p.m. a soldier told me I was going to be released. My parents who were waiting for me outside prison told me I was released on bail of NIS 500. I don’t know whether I will have a hearing in the future or not. I went home with my parents.