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Testimony: I.M.B.H.

 Name:  I.M.B.H.
 Age:  17 years
 Date of incident:  10 February 2015
 Location:  Beit Ummar, West Bank
 Accusation:  Throwing stones
On 10 February 2015, a 17-year-old minor from Beit Ummar was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 4.00 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 2,500 bail on 11 February 2015.
I was asleep when my father woke me up and told me Israeli soldiers were in our house and wanted to arrest me. It was 4.00 a.m. I got up and went to where the soldiers were. The commander asked for my name and told me they were going to arrest me. He did not tell me or my father the reason for my arrest or where they were going to take me. They did not give us any documents.
As soon as I got dressed soldiers took me out of the house and immediately tied my hands to the front with one plastic tie which was painful. I was also blindfolded. I was then taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on the metal floor. The jeep drove for a short while towards the centre of the village where I was transferred to a troop carrier and sat on a seat. When the carrier started to move a soldier moved me from the seat and made me sit on the metal floor between the soldiers’ legs. The soldiers then kicked me all over my body the whole way.
The carrier drove for about 15 minutes before stopping. I was then taken to see a doctor. As soon as we entered the doctor’s room a soldier held my head and banged it against the wall in front of the doctor who didn’t say or do anything. The doctor then examined me and gave me a questionnaire with medical questions to answer. The soldier then took me to a room with benches. I sat on a bench for about 30 minutes before I was taken to an interrogation room.
The interrogator wore civilian clothes and spoke fluent Arabic. He did not inform me of my right to silence or of my right to see a lawyer. He had a tape recorder and immediately started to interrogate me. He told me there were a number of accusations against me and that I had to confess quickly. He also told me even if I didn’t confess the accusations will hold and I would face a prison sentence of one year.
The interrogator then started to mention names of other young men from the village. He told me to repeat the names after him as if I were confessing against them. He then accused me of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at soldiers. I told him I did not. The interrogation lasted for more than two hours. In the end the interrogator printed out my statement in Hebrew and asked me to sign it. I asked him to translate the statement for me but he refused and I refused to sign it.
I was then taken for another interrogation, this time by an Israeli policeman. The policeman told me I had the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer. He called my father and allowed me to speak to him. He asked my father to appoint a lawyer and asked me whether I knew a lawyer so that I could speak to him immediately. I had the telephone number of a lawyer and gave it to the interrogator who called him and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me to remain silent.
The second interrogator then accused me of throwing stones at soldiers and taking part in protests. In the beginning I denied the accusation but in the end I confessed to throwing stones. The interrogator then printed out my statement and I signed it. The interrogation lasted for about an hour. I was then photographed and fingerprinted and taken back to the room where I remained for about two hours.
After two hours a soldier handcuffed me and took me into the back of a vehicle where I sat on a seat. The vehicle drove for about an hour before arriving at Ofer prison, near Jerusalem. At Ofer I was strip searched and taken to Section 13 where I remained with other prisoners my age.
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My lawyer was in court but my parents were not because they were not informed. The lawyer asked the military court to release me on bail. The military judge agreed. My parents paid NIS 2,500 in bail and I went home with my father on the same day.