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Testimony: A.A.A.O.


Name: A.A.A.O.
Age: 15
Date: 29 August 2022
Location: Nabi Samuel, West Bank
Accusation: Assault

On 29 August 2022, a 15-year-old minor from Nabi Samuel was arrested by Israeli police at 3:00 p.m. and accused of assaulting an Israeli settler and policeman. He reports being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He reports being released on NIS 3,500 bail, 5 months after his arrest.  

I was going for a walk with some friends at around 3:00 p.m. when an Israeli police car pulled over, checked my identity card and then ordered me into the police car without explanation. I sat on a seat and the car drove to Al-Jib checkpoint. 
On arrival at the checkpoint I was handcuffed to the front with metal handcuffs which were tight and painful. I was left at the checkpoint until around 6:00 p.m. then I was taken in a car to Al Mascobiyeh police station, in West Jerusalem. I arrived there at around 7:00 p.m. I was searched with my clothes on and then I was left in a courtyard. At around 10:00 p.m. I was taken for interrogation.
Before the interrogation I was allowed to phone a lawyer. The lawyer explained to me I was about to be interrogated and assured me there was nothing to worry about. He told me I had the right to silence and warned me it might not work in my favour in court. I spoke to him on a speaker phone for less than two minutes. The lawyer told me to move away from the interrogator so that he does not listen in.
After calling the lawyer, the interrogator told me I had the right to remain silent. Then he accused me of assaulting a settler and a policeman during a protest in my village. He gave me a specific date and I denied the accusation.  Then he told me soldiers saw me and testified against me. He also told me he had video footage of the incident and that other people who they had arrested had confessed against me. Still, I denied the accusation.
He questioned me for about three hours and was typing on a computer. He threatened to lock me up in prison for a long time if I did not confess. At the end he asked me to sign a document written in Hebrew. At first, I refused to sign but when he told it was my statement, I signed. 
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 was taken to Ofer military court. My uncle attended and my detention was extended. Ten days later I had another interrogation. This time I was question about a Facebook posting. I did not speak to a lawyer and was not informed of my right to silence. I was questioned for about half-an-hour and then I was taken back to Ofer prison. I was not asked to sign any documents. 
I had about 20 military court hearings. At the last one, which was on the day of my release, the military judge decided to release me on bail and to put me under house arrest. He imposed a bond of NIS 20,000 to be paid if I violate my house arrest conditions. My family had to pay NIS 3,500 for bail. I was allowed to go to school but nowhere else. 
I spent six weeks in Ofer prison and then I was transferred to Damoun prison, inside Israel. I spent two days there before being transferred to again to Megiddo prison, inside Israel. I spent the rest of my sentence in Megiddo prison until I was released on bail.
In prison I attended classes in Hebrew. I did not have any family visits but I was allowed to call home from a telephone provided by the prison authorities once every two weeks. I was released at Al Jalama checkpoint on 26 January 2023. My parents had arranged for a taxi to take me home. I arrived home at around midnight.