Testimony - K.C.
|Date of incident:||14 November 2013|
|Location:||Burin, West Bank|
On 14 November 2013, a 13-year-old minor from Burin was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 p.m. following clashes with settlers. He reports ill treatment and being denied his basic legal rights under Israeli military law. He reports being detained for about 7 hours before being released without charge.
At around 2:00 p.m. I came home from school and was going to turn my computer on when I looked out the window and saw a group of about 12 Israeli settlers in our village. Some young men had gathered to drive them away and I went out to take a closer look. The minute I got there soldiers arrived and turned the settlers back. Then they chased with the young men from our village and fired tear gas and rubber bullets at us.
By the time I made it home I was terrified and hardly able to catch my breath. My mother and I went up to the roof to watch. A soldier saw us and told my mother to open the door. First she refused but when he fired a stun grenade at us she went downstairs and opened the door. I stayed on the roof. Within minutes soldiers were on our roof.
One of the soldiers grabbed my arm and asked me if I threw stones. I told him I didn’t. He told me I was a liar. My mother also told them I don’t throw stones but they didn’t believe her. He asked me about a boy who was wearing a red jumper and I told him I didn’t know him. Then a soldier pushed me into a corner, told me to lift my hands up and to keep my head down. I then heard a lot of shooting and thought they were aiming at me. I was scared and started to cry. I was sure they were going to kill me right there.
A short time later the soldiers tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie, which was very painful, and blindfolded me. I heard my mother shout saying 'give me back my son where are you taking him? He is young and didn’t do anything wrong.’ I was then led out of our house and pushed into a jeep. I could hear stones hitting the outside of the jeep and heard my mother shouting 'give me back my son? Where is my son?’
The jeep drove for about an hour and a soldier yelled at me, slapped me on the face and punched me on the head. Then a soldier asked me to state my full name to someone on the telephone. About five minutes later the jeep arrived somewhere. They took me out of the jeep and I tripped and fell on my face because I was blindfolded. I heard soldiers laughing when I fell. Then they made me sit on the ground. It was late in the evening and I was cold. A soldier shouted at me when I tried to find out who was sitting on the ground next to me. He also hit me in my back and slapped me and moved me away from the other people. A soldier asked me if I wanted to eat and I told him no but asked for some water. They brought me water and I drank it.
About two or three hours later I was taken inside. They removed the blindfold. Someone wearing a blue uniform started to ask me some questions. He asked me if I threw stones and wanted to know who else was throwing stones. He told me if I told him everything he would release me and if I didn’t he would get upset. Again he asked me if I threw stones and I told him I didn’t. I told him I was at home when soldiers arrested me. He told me I was a liar and wanted to know who else was throwing stones. I told him I was at home and didn’t see anyone. Again he told me I was a liar and hit me on my head and face. Another soldier was in the room.
At no time did I speak to a lawyer and no one told me anything about my rights. No one told me about the right to silence except in the jeep when a soldier kept telling me to shut up. I wasn’t given the chance to speak to my parents, not to anyone. After the interrogation I was re-blindfolded and taken outside. My hands were still tied.
I was very tired but a soldier kept shouting at me to keep me awake. This startled me and I could hear soldiers laughing. Then a soldier lifted the blindfold and showed me a map on something that looked like an iPad. He showed me an intersection and told me I was going to be dropped off there. He gave me a telephone and asked me to call my father and to tell him to meet me at the intersection. From what I could see on the map I think he meant the main intersection at the entrance to our village. I told my father to wait for me there. I was then put in a jeep and my hand ties and blindfold were removed. I looked around and I think I was in Huwwara military base. near Nablus.
The jeep took me to the intersection near my village. My father was waiting for me there. He asked me how I was and whether I was beaten. I couldn’t answer his question; I couldn’t speak. We arrived home at about 10:00 p.m. When we got home I saw my mother in bandages. She was limping and in pain. I cried when I saw her. She told me that soldiers shot rubber bullets at her when she followed the jeep and tried to rescue me. I want to stay out of trouble and I want to study hard and do well at school. I think this is the best way to resist occupation.