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Home » Children »

Testimony: M.I.R.H.


Name: M.I.R.H.
Age: 17
Date: 29 October 2022
Location: Azzun, West Bank
Accusation: Protesting

On 29 October 2022, a 17-year-old minor from Azzun was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 4:00 p.m. He reports ill treatment. He reports consulting with a lawyer but not being informed of his right to silence by the interrogator. He was sentenced to 2 months in prison and fined NIS 2,000.

I woke up to the sound of a loud explosion at around 4:00 a.m. I got out of bed to see what had happened and found about 30 Israeli soldiers spread all over our home. My mother asked them what they wanted but almost immediately things got out of hand.  
One of the female soldiers twisted my sister’s arm and pushed her to the floor; another punched me in the face when he asked me for my identity card and I told him I did not know where it was. He swore at me calling me "a son of a whore". Another tried to lock my mother in the bedroom and then punched her in the chest when she resisted. 
After this violence a soldier told my mother to collect all our phones and identity cards. My mother was in shock and she could not find the identity cards and the phones easily. She was tired having spent her day in the fields picking olives.
The soldiers then searched our house and trashed it. They deliberately broke furniture and kitchenware and threw our clothes on the floor and broke shelves and doors. The situation was chaotic and scary. The soldiers remained inside our house for about two hours, causing a lot of damage and scaring my younger siblings, who were 6, 11 and 12 years.
Later one of the soldiers told my mother they wanted to arrest me. They did not give us any documents and did not tell us the reason for my arrest. Then they took me into my bedroom where a soldier tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was tight and painful. A soldier told me not to speak to my family from then on and told me to change my clothes. Then he blindfolded me and took me outside. 
Once outside the soldiers took me on foot to the nearby settlement of Karni Shomron. I walked for about one kilometer and then I was taken to a room where a soldier guarded me the whole time. Inside the room I sat on a chair and the soldier did not speak to me. 
At around 1:30 p.m., I was taken to Megiddo prison, inside Israel, where I was searched in my boxer shorts before being taken to the section for children. The following day I was taken to Salem for interrogation.
At Salem I was taken to an interrogation room, handcuffed and shackled, and the interrogator did not remove them. I was questioned by a female interrogator who spoke fluent Arabic. She was in civilian clothes and had a camera in the room. Before questioning me, she allowed me to speak to a lawyer. The lawyer asked me whether I had already confessed then told me not to confess and not to worry. The interrogator was able to listen to the short conversation on speaker phone.
Then, without informing me of my right to silence, the interrogator told me she had confessions from my friends that I had taken part in a protest in the village. I denied the accusation and told her I did not know the boys whom she claimed had confessed against me. 
The interrogator was calm and did not shout or threaten me. She questioned me for about 30 minutes and then she asked me to sign a document written in Arabic. I read the document and when I found it was identical to what I had said I signed it. 
After the interrogation I was taken to Salem military court for a hearing. My parents were not informed and they did not attend. My detention was extended.
I had 10 military court hearings, the last one was on 28 February 2023, on the day when I was released. I was sentenced in a plea bargain to four months in prison and fined NIS 2,000. I also received a further three years in prison suspended for five years. Two of the four months in prison were to serve a suspended sentence for a previous detention. I accepted the plea bargain because I wanted to go home. 
I spent my prison sentence at Megiddo where I spent my time chatting to the other prisoners. My parents visited me four times.
I was released at Salem checkpoint on 28 February 2023, and I went home with my father. I arrived home in the evening.