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Testimony: A.M.Z.


Name: A.M.Z.
Age: 15
Date of incident: 20 April 2015
Location: Husan, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones
On 20 April 2015, a 15-year-old minor from Husan was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 2:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones. He reports ill treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He reports being released on NIS 6,000 bail 2 weeks after his arrest. 
I woke up to the sound of Israeli soldiers around our house. It was around 2:00 a.m. I then heard loud banging at our front door. When my father opened the front door a group of soldiers entered our home and asked my father to gather all the males. The soldiers then told my father they wanted to arrest me. They did not give my father any documents about my arrest but they told him they were going to take me to Etzion settlement for questioning because I was accused of throwing stones.
The soldiers allowed me to get dressed and then took me outside where they blindfolded me and tied my hands to the back with one plastic tie. The tie was very tight. I was scared because this was the first time I was arrested. I was taken to the back of a troop carrier where I was put on a seat. The carrier drove around the town and the soldiers arrested more people. About an hour later the carrier drove into a nearby military base.
At the base I was taken to a room where I sat on the floor for about 30 minutes. I was then taken to see a doctor. The doctor removed the blindfold and examined me. He put the blindfold again when he was done. I was taken back into the room where I remained until around 6:30 a.m.
At 6:30 a.m. I was taken back to the troop carrier which drove for about an hour before arriving at the police station inside Etzion settlement. I was taken to an open area where I waited for about two hours. The soldiers who were guarding me swore at me and sprayed me with water when I asked for a drink.
After two hours an interrogator came and took me to a room. On the way to the interrogation room a lawyer from our village told me my father was at the police station but the soldiers did not allow him in. The lawyer asked the interrogator to allow my father to attend the interrogation but he refused.
The interrogator was wearing civilian clothes. He told me his name was "Moshe". He removed the blindfold but kept my tie on. By this time I felt my hands were blue and were very painful but the interrogator refused to remove the tie. He did not inform me of my rights.
The interrogator accused me of throwing stones at soldiers which I denied. Then he started to mention names of boys from the village and asked me whether I knew them. He also wanted to know whether they threw stones at soldiers. I told him I didn’t know the boys and didn’t know whether they threw stones or not.
The interrogation lasted for about an hour. The interrogator swore at me and told me I was "a fucker son of a whore". He then showed me documents and claimed they were confessions against me from other boys. When I told him this couldn’t be true he slapped me very hard. When this happened I was very scared and decided to confess. I confessed to throwing stones at soldiers.
The interrogator printed out my statement and asked me to sign it. I refused to sign it even before I looked at it and told the interrogator I wasn’t going to sign anything unless a lawyer was present. I don’t know what language the statement was in. He then brought in a lawyer who assured me the statement was identical to what I had told the interrogator and told me it was ok to sign it and I did. I was then photographed and fingerprinted and taken into a cell at Etzion.
I was taken out to see a lawyer. I was then taken back into the cell where the tie was removed and I was given some food. I remained in the cell until around 1:00 a.m. I was then blindfolded and shackled and handcuffed and taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, about one and-a-half hours drive away. On arrival at Ofer I was strip searched. I felt embarrassed. Then I was given prison uniform and taken into Section 13.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. A lawyer was there and my parents too. I was allowed to talk to my parents. I had about seven military court hearings. On the last hearing I collapsed and started to cry. I begged my parents to do anything they could to get me out of prison. In the end I was released on bail pending the next hearing. My parents had to pay NIS 6,000 bail which is a lot of money.
I was released on 2 May 2015. I went home with my parents. I was told that the next hearing is scheduled on 5 August 2015.