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Testimony: H.U.H.L.


Name:  H.U.H.L.
Age:  15
Date:  14 February 2023
Location:  Beit Sira, West Bank
Accusation:  n/a

On 14 February 2023, a 15-year-old minor from Beit Sira was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 2:30 a.m. He reports ill treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He was released on NIS 3,000 bail and a bond of NIS 6,000, 16 days after his arrest. 

My older brother woke me up at around 2:30 a.m. and told me Israeli soldiers were surrounding our house. By the time I got out of bed there were about 30 soldiers already inside our home. They had broken our front door open before we managed to open it. My younger brothers, who were 4-years-old and 9-years-old, were terrified.
One of the soldiers told my father they were looking for me. When my father identified me one of the soldiers told us they were going to arrest me. He did not say why and did not give us any documents. About 15 minutes later a soldier tied my hands whilst I was still inside our house. He tied my hands behind my back with two plastic ties on top of each other. He tightened them hard and I was in pain. I was also blindfolded. Then I was taken to the back of a military jeep where I sat on the metal floor. 
The soldiers inside the jeep called me "a son of a whore" and kicked and slapped me on my head. Then I was taken to the police station in Ma’aleh Adumim settlement where I was given a quick medical examination. Afterwards I was left outdoors in the rain until around 2:00 p.m. At around 2:30 p.m. I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator did not call a lawyer for me and did not inform me of my right to silence. He was in civilian clothes and had a camera in the room. He asked me for my name and told me to tell the truth. He accused me of serious things and I confessed after he had threatened to revoke my father’s work permit and to demolish my family home.  He was aggressive and thumped the table multiple times. He yelled at me and questioned me for about 30 minutes. After I confessed he asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew which I did.
After the interrogation I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, where I was strip searched before being taken to section 13. 
The following day I had a military court hearing. My family did not attend because they were not informed. I had six more hearings. At the last one, which was on the day of my release, I was released on bail. My parents had to pay NIS 3,000 bail in addition to a NIS 6,000 bond. My next hearings will on 20 March 2023.
I was released at Ofer on 2 March 2023. I went home with my brother and one of his friends. I arrived home at around 9:00 p.m. My parents had prepared a festive meal and invited family and friends. I don’t go to school anymore; I work with my brother as a painter.