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Testimony: M.A.M.N.


Name: M.A.M.N.
Age: 16
Date: 23 September 2021
Location: Bethlehem, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing Molotov cocktails

On 23 September 2021, a 16-year-old minor from Bethlehem was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 9:00 p.m. during clashes at Rachel's Tomb and accused of throwing Molotov cocktails. He reports ill treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He was sentenced to 4 months in prison and fined NIS 2,000.

I was arrested at Rachel’s Tomb at around 9:00 p.m. At the time there were clashes with Israeli soldiers because they had just shot dead a young Palestinian. A group of soldiers surrounded me and immediately pushed me to the ground. Then one of them handcuffed me behind my back with metal handcuffs and tightened them. I was in pain. He pushed my head down until it almost touched the ground while another soldier kicked me. 
Then the soldiers took me to a military watchtower where they put a mask over my mouth and another one on my eyes. They also wrapped my jacket around my head. One of the soldiers placed his gun on my leg as if he was going to shoot me. I was left there in an awkward position with my head down for about one-and-a-half hours. 
Then I was taken to a police jeep where I sat on a seat and the soldiers sat very close to me. I was taken to Atarot police station, in East Jerusalem. We arrived at around 10:30 p.m. I was left on a chair in an outdoor area for about two hours and the soldiers did not allow me to move. I was very tired. Then I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the mask and brought me a glass of water. He was in civilian clothes. He wanted to know who else was me at the time of my arrest and I told him. He wanted to phone my father but I forgot his telephone number, I was scared and stressed. He did not phone a lawyer for me and did not inform me of my right to silence. He accused me of throwing a Molotov cocktail at the watchtower. He then asked me how I knew how to prepare a Molotov cocktail. He questioned me for about half an hour and was calm most of the time. I repeatedly asked to use a toilet and he allowed me after I asked four times. In the end I confessed to the accusation. Then the interrogator asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew and I signed.
After the interrogation I was put in an outdoor cadge where I spent a whole day. I was handcuffed to the front the whole time. I fell asleep for a short time but then the soldiers woke me up to search me. I was searched with my clothes on. I was not given any food the whole day, but I was given some water.
After a day I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem. I arrived there at around 1:00 p.m. and I was strip searched. I was told to crouch up and down while naked. Then I was taken to the quarantine section where I spent two weeks. 
I had five military court hearings. The first one was four days after my arrest. It was on zoom and my parents did not attend because they were not informed about it. The last hearing was three days before I was released. I was sentenced in a plea bargain to four months in prison and fined NIS 2,000. I was also given another 18 months in prison suspended for a few years. I accepted the plea bargain because I wanted to go home. 
After the quarantine I was taken to the minors’ section where I spent the rest of my time. I did not have any family visits and I am not sure why. In prison I chatted to the other detainees and attended classes in Arabic, Hebrew and mathematics. I left school and I work in an aluminum shop.
I was released at Al Jib on 11 January 2022, and I took a taxi to Ramallah. Then I called my father and he came and picked me up. I arrived home at around 9:00 p.m.