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Testimony: A.B.M.K.


Name:  A.B.M.K.
Age:  14
Date:  31 January 2023
Location:  Azzayyem, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 31 January 2023, a 14-year-old minor from Azzayyem was arrested by Israeli undercover soldiers outside a shop at 7:30 p.m. He reports ill treatment. He reports consulting with a lawyer prior to interrogation but not being informed of his right to silence. He reports being released on NIS 1,000 bail 9 days later. 

I went with two of my friends to the shops at around 7:30 p.m. My two friends went into a shop to buy things while I waited outside. All of a sudden six men in civilian clothes approached me and started to beat me on my back and stomach. They swore at me and called me "a son of a whore". When I saw they were carrying guns I realised they were Israeli special unit soldiers in disguise. 
The men led me towards the nearby military checkpoint where an Israeli policeman handcuffed me to the front with metal handcuffs. The handcuffs were tight and painful. I was left at the checkpoint for about one-and-a-half hours. During this time they phoned my father and summoned him to the checkpoint. 
After my father arrived at the checkpoint they put us both in a police car where we sat on seats. They took us to Atarot police station, in East Jerusalem, where we were both left outdoors in the cold weather from around 8:30 p.m. until around 11:30 p.m. Then they sent my father home and took me to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem, where I was strip searched before being put in section 13.
At around 2:30 p.m. the following day I was tied and taken for interrogation. The interrogator was in civilian clothes and had a camera in the room. She did not speak Arabic and questioned me through an interpreter. She phoned a lawyer for me and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to be scared and to answer the questions to the point, no more and no less. He spoke to me for less than a minute. At first the interrogator was listening but then she told me to turn the speaker phone off.
Then, without informing me of my right to silence, she asked me what I was doing in the area where I was arrested. I told her I was waiting for my friends who went into the shop. Then she accused me of throwing stones and a Molotov cocktail at the checkpoint. I denied the accusation. Then she accused me of lying and claimed she had video footage of the incident. She showed me the footage and I continued to deny the accusation. She threatened to arrest my parents if I did not confess. She also threatened to keep me in prison for five years. Still, I did not confess. At the end of the interrogation she asked me to sign documents written in Hebrew. The interpreter translated the documents for me and I signed. 
As soon as the interrogation was over I was taken to Ofer military court. My father was there. My detention was extended by the military judge. I had three hearings. 
At the last hearing, which was one day before I was released, the military judge decided to release me on bail. My father had to pay NIS 1,000 bail and I was told I had to come back to the military court on the 20 February 2023. 
I was released at Al Jib checkpoint on 8 February 2023. My father was told to wait for me at Ofer checkpoint. I called my father from the telephone of a man who happened to be there and my father came and picked me up. I arrived home at around midnight. 
On the 20 February 2023, I went back to the military court with my father. My father told the military judge he wanted me to go to school and that he would guarantee I never get involved in anything. The judge accepted my father’s promise and my file was closed.
I found it hard being in prison and I spent my time thinking and worrying about my family. I am in eighth grade and my grades are ok. I want to study hard and focus on my school work.