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Testimony: A.I.A.S.


Name: A.I.A.S.
Age: 16
Date: 20 October 2022
Location: Beit El, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 20 October 2022, a 16-year-old minor from Al Amari refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers during clashes at 4:00p.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 reports being released on NIS 2,500 bail, 5 days later. 

I was arrested during clashes near Beit El settlement at around 4:00 p.m. I was standing on the side of the road watching the clashes when somebody shouted “soldiers…. soldiers”. I immediately ran as fast as I could. 
An Israeli military jeep drove up behind me and nearly ran me over. Then four soldiers stepped out of the jeep, grabbed me and started to beat me hard. They kicked me on my legs and punched me in the face until blood came out of my nose. I was in pain. They also swore at me and called me "a son of a whore".
The soldiers took me to the back of a jeep and made me bend down on the metal floor as if I was praying. A soldier put his boots on my head and pushed me down. I was left in that position for about two hours. Then a soldier tied my hands to the front with one plastic tie which was very tight and painful. It left marks on my wrists for days. I was also blindfolded with a rag that smelled of tear gas. 
About two hours later I was transferred to the back of another jeep where I sat on the metal floor between the soldiers’ feet. Then I was taken into the police station in Binyamin settlement where I was left in a room with other detainees for about five hours. At around midnight, a soldier removed the blindfold and I was taken for interrogation.
I was still handtied when I was taken into the interrogation room. The interrogator was in an Israeli police uniform and had a camera in the room. He did not speak Arabic and questioned me through an interpreter. He phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to be afraid and to tell the interrogator I was just watching the clashes and did not take part. He also told me the interrogator was not allowed to physically abuse me. The interrogator left the room during the conversation which lasted for about a minute.
The interrogator did not inform me of my right to silence. He wanted to know the distance between my house and the area where I was arrested near the settlement of Beit El. Then he wanted to know how many stones I had thrown at soldiers. Then he told me a soldier had testified that he saw me taking part in the clashes. I denied the accusation. The interrogator was calm and moved on from one question to the next methodically. He questioned me for about one-and-a-half hours. In the end he wanted me to sign electronically on an iPad on text written in Hebrew. I signed because the interpreter translated the text for me. 
After the interrogation was over I was taken to another location where I sat on a chair. When I fell asleep a soldier slapped me to wake me up. During this time I was given an apple. I remained on the chair for about four hours. 
After about four hours I was taken to Al Mascobiyeh police station in West Jerusalem. where I was strip searched on arrival before being taken to a cell with other detainees. I spent four days at Al Mascobiyeh. During this time, I had two court hearings. The first hearing was at Ofer military court, which was attended by my bother, and the second one was conducted on zoom which my family did not attend.
During the second hearing the military judge decided to release me on bail because I have had major surgery on my arms. When I was young I fell and badly broke both arms. My father had to pay NIS 2,500 bail. After the zoom hearing I was taken back to the cell. Then, at around 6:00 p.m., one of the prison guards called my name and told me I was going to be released. 
I was released on 25 October 2022. I was dropped off at Qalandiya checkpoint and I took a taxi home to the camp. I was confused and did not know the way home. My brother met me at the entrance.