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Testimony: S.H.R.Q.


Name: S.H.R.Q.
Age: 14
Date: 18 April 2023
Location: Beit Ummar, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 18 April 2023, a 14-year-old minor from Beit Ummar was detained by Israeli soldiers from home at 6:00 a.m. He reports ill treatment. He reports consulting with a lawyer prior to interrogation but not being informed of his right to silence by the interrogator. He was sentenced to 4 months in prison and fined NIS 1,000.

I woke up at around 6:00 a.m. and found about 10 masked Israeli soldiers in my bedroom. I was terrified and for a moment I thought I was dreaming. They asked me for my name and then the commander told me they had come to take me to prison. He did not give us any documents or reasons for my arrest.  
The soldiers then tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was loose and not painful. The soldiers remained in our home for no more than 15 minutes and then took me on foot to the nearby settlement of Karmi Zur. When we arrived at the settlement a soldier blindfolded me and then led me on foot for about 200 meters. On the way the soldiers swore at me calling me "a son of a whore". They also slapped me a few times. 
I was then led on foot all the way to the police station in Etzion settlement. I walked for about one-and-a-half hours. It was hard to walk because I was blindfolded. When I arrived at Etzion police station I was taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the blindfold and the tie. He was in civilian clothes. The interrogator phoned a lawyer who I spoke to. The lawyer told me not to worry because there was nothing to be afraid of. He told me to be a man. The interrogator was listening on speaker phone and the phone call lasted for about two minutes, not more.  
The interrogator did not inform me of my right to silence. He asked whether I had ever thrown stones at Israelis. Then he accused me of throwing a Molotov cocktail sometime in November 2022. He claimed he had photographs of me throwing stones but he did not show me any photographs. He was aggressive and thumped the table and slammed the door. When I denied the accusation, he blindfolded me again and shut the door and told me I had to confess. 
The interrogator questioned me for about two hours and kept pressuring me to confess. I told him I had no idea what he was talking about and that I knew nothing. He did not believe me. At the end he showed me a document written in Hebrew and asked me to sign it. I signed because I was fed up. 
After the interrogation I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem. I arrived there at around 11:00 p.m. I was strip searched before being taken to the minors’ section. The other prisoners made me two sandwiches and then they went back to bed. 
The following day I had a military court session. My mother and cousin were in court and the military judge decided to extend my detention. I had about 20 court hearings. At the last one, which was on the day of my release, I was given a plea bargain which I accepted. I was sentenced to four months in prison and fined NIS 1,000. I was also given another six months in prison suspended for three years. I was very happy because I was going home. 
I was released on 2 August 2023, at Ofer and I went home with my cousins. I arrived home at around 10:00 p.m. 
In prison I chatted to the other prisoners to pass the time and I tried to forget that I was in prison. I did not attend any classes because they did not register me. I did not have any family visits because my parents’ permit to visit me was for 6 August 2023, four days after my release. I was allowed to call my parents twice a month from a telephone which the prison management provide. Now I want to go back to school, I am in ninth grade.