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Testimony: Y.H.M.K.


Name:  Y.H.M.K.
Age:  17
Date:  5 November 2019
Location:  Aida camp, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 5 November 2019, a 17-year-old minor from Aida refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 3:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones. He reports ill treatment. He reports being informed of his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He reports being released 8 days later on payment of NIS 500.

I woke up at around 3:00 a.m. to the sound of a soldier’s voice in my bedroom. The soldier told me to get up and I did. I soon discovered that about 15 soldiers were in our home. 
The soldiers gathered my family in my parents’ bedroom and the commander told my father they wanted to take me for questioning because they suspected me of throwing stones at soldiers in our refugee camp. The soldiers then took me outside. They did not give my parents any documents.
Outside the house my hands were tied to the front with one plastic tie which was very tight and painful and left marks on my wrists. I was also blindfolded. The soldiers then walked me towards the military base at Rachel’s Tomb where a soldier beat me on my back. I was made me kneel on the ground for about three hours before I was taken in a military jeep to a police station in Jerusalem. I sat on a seat in the back of the jeep and I arrived at the police station at around 6:00 a.m. I was immediately taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the blindfold and told me to sit down and be respectful. He asked me if I wanted to speak to a lawyer and then phoned one and allowed me to talk to him. The lawyer told me if the interrogator beats me I should tell him I wanted to request my right to remain silence. He also told me anything I did not do I should not talk about. The interrogator was in the room during the conversation which lasted about two minutes. 
After I spoke to the lawyer the interrogator told me I had the right to remain silent but I thought to myself I did not want to remain silent for fear that it might be interpreted as if I was guilty. I thought I would remain silent only if the interrogator beats me. He had a camera and a voice recorder in the room.
Then the interrogator told me if I confessed he would send me home on the same day. I told him I had nothing to confess to and I was not going to confess to something I did not do. His response was that he was going to send me to the cells if I did not confess. 
Then he told me I was suspected of throwing stones at soldiers in the Camp and claimed he had video footage to prove it. I asked him to show me the footage but he refused. When I denied the accusation he lost his temper and shouted at me saying I was a liar and then he slapped me on the face and punched me in the chest. Then he asked me about my father and told me he had revoked his work permit. He questioned me for about three hours and did not give me anything to eat or drink.
After about three hours the interrogator showed me documents in Hebrew and wanted me to sign them but I refused. Then I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, where I was searched in my clothes before being taken to section 13. 
Three days later I was taken to Ofer military court. My father attended and the hearing was adjourned. Two days later I had another hearing. My father attended and I was released without charge but my father had to pay NIS 500. 
I was released on 12 November 2019 at Beit Sira checkpoint and I went home with my brother who was waiting for me. I was released at around 11:30 p.m. and we arrived home around 2:30 a.m.