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Testimony: I.J.I.M.


Name: I.J.I.M.
Age: 14
Date: 20 April 2022
Location: Qarawa Bani Zaid, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 20 April 2022, a 14-year-old minor from Qarawa Bani Zaid was arrested by Israeli soldiers during clashes at a military checkpoint at 4:00 p.m. and accused of throwing stones. He reports ill treatment. He reports consulting with a lawyer but not being informed of his right to silence by the interrogator. He reports being released on NIS 5,000 bail, 10 days later.

I was grabbed by a group of Israeli soldiers during clashes at a military checkpoint. It was around 4:00 p.m. They fired a stun grenade and live bullets in my direction. I was shot in the knee cap and fell to the ground bleeding. A soldier swore at me and then slapped me.  I was in shock. I was terrified and thought I was going to die when I saw the amount of blood.
The soldiers called an ambulance and the paramedics treated my injury on site before taking me to Belinson hospital where I spent six days. I underwent multiple surgeries. During this time a lawyer visited me and wanted to know what had happened. I told him everything. The doctor told me my knee cap was shattered and badly damaged and my tendons were torn. 
After six days I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, but the authorities there refused to admit me because of my severe injury. I was then taken to Ramleh prison, inside Israel, where prisoners with medical needs are held. I spent the first two days in a room by myself and then I was taken to another room with other prisoners. The first room measured about 3 x 3 meters and did not have a mattress. The two days I spent there by myself were difficult and I was in psychological distress. On the third day at Ramleh I was taken for interrogation.
Before interrogating me, the interrogator handed me a phone to speak to a lawyer. The lawyer told me to remain silent even if the interrogator yells at me.  He told me he was going to represent me in court and told me not worry. The conversation lasted for about a minute. The interrogator did not inform me of my right to silence and told me I had to answer all his questions. 
The interrogator accused me of throwing stones at soldiers and settlers. I denied the accusation and then I remained silent and refused to answer anymore questions. The interrogator had a camera in the room and was typing on a computer. When I denied the accusation, he told me not to lie and claimed he had photographic evidence against me. He also told me three soldiers had testified against me and claimed he knew everything about me. 
Then the interrogator wanted to know why I ran away from the soldiers. When I told him I was scared of the soldiers, he laughed and wanted to know why I was scared of them. I told him I was scared they might beat me up. I was questioned for about 30 minutes and I was not given any documents to sign. 
After the interrogation I was taken to Salem military court for a hearing. My father attended the hearing.  The military judge extended my detention. 
Two days later I had another interrogation. I spoke to a lawyer before the interrogation. The conversation was very short and the interrogator was listening. Then, without informing me of my right to silence, the interrogator accused me of the same accusations. He interrupted me and did not want to listen to what I was trying to tell him. He questioned me for about 20 minutes and I denied all the accusations. He did not ask me to sign any documents.  
After the interrogation I was taken back to Ramleh prison.   I had five more military court hearings and at the last one, which was on the day of my release, the judge decided to release me on bail. My parents had to pay NIS 5,000 bail in addition to another NIS 20,000 bond. I was not given any dates for hearings and until today I have not been informed of any hearings. 
I was released on 1 May 2022, at Salem checkpoint and I went home with my parents. We arrived home in the evening.