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Home » Children »

Testimony: M.I.I.A.

 

Name: M.I.I.A.
Age: 14
Date: 7 August 2017
Location: Tuqu', West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 7 August 2017 a 14-year-old boy from Tuqu' is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 a.m. He reports initially being interrogated without first being informed of his right to silence or his right to consult with a lawyer.

At around 3:00 a.m. I was still at the bakery where I work at night when the owner told me my brother was looking for me. I went to see what was going on and I saw a group of Israeli soldiers with my brother. They told me they had come to arrest me.
 
The soldiers walked me back to the house where they told my father they wanted him to accompany me. They gave my father a document written in Hebrew with details about where they were taking me. Then they took us outside.
 
Outside the house they blindfolded my father. Then they blindfolded me and tied my hands to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. The ties were not painful. They made us walk down the street where a military jeep was waiting. I was put in the back of a jeep and made to sit on the metal floor. Then they removed my father's blindfold and told him to go home. When my father left they made me sit on a seat.
 
The jeep drove for about 10 minutes to a nearby military base where I was taken inside and I sat on a chair until around 6:00 a.m. I was with other detainees who had also been arrested. At around 6:00 a.m. I was taken back to the jeep where I sat on a seat. The jeep took me to the police station in Etzion settlement. At Etzion I was left outside in the sun until around 9:00 a.m. when it was my turn to be interrogated.
 
The interrogator took me behind a shipping container and told me I had to behave myself and confess against boys who were throwing stones at soldiers two days earlier during clashes. I told him I did not know any boys who threw stones.  Then he took me to a room where he removed the ties and the blindfold and accused me of throwing stones at soldiers and told me I had to confess. He did not inform me of any rights. 
 
The interrogator kept showing me video footage of boys throwing stones and repeated it about 10 times. He wanted me to tell him the names of the boys seen in the footage. I told him I did not know the boys.
 
Then he pulled the shutters down and turned the lights off and hit me on my head saying I had to confess. He threatened to treat me "harshly" and to bring soldiers into the room if I did not confess.
 
Half-way through the interrogation he showed me a document in Hebrew and told me it was about my right to consult with a lawyer and the right to remain silent. Then he showed me an Arabic version of the document and asked me to sign it and I did. Then he asked me if I needed a lawyer and I named a lawyer for him. The interrogator called the lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to confess.
 
The interrogator kept insisting I had to confess and threatened to lock me up in prison for 6 years if I did not. In the end I confessed to throwing stones on two occasions. I confessed even though the lawyer told me not to because I did not want to be beaten and I was scared of the interrogator.
 
Then the interrogator took me to see another interrogator who had a tape recorder and typed from a paper the first interrogator had given him which I think was my testimony. Then he made me sign three sets of documents written in Hebrew. I signed because I did not know better.
 
After I signed the documents I was searched in my underwear and taken to a cell inside Etzion police station where I was given some food.
 
At around 8:00 p.m. I was taken to Ofer  prison where I was strip searched and asked to crouch up and down while naked. Then I was taken to section 13.
 
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents did not attend the hearing because they were not informed that it was on. My lawyer was there and the hearing was adjourned.
 
In all I had five military court appearances. In the end I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 3 months in prison and fined 1,000 shekels. I was also given a suspended sentence of 8 months valid of 5 years.
 
I accepted the plea bargain because the charge sheet they presented me with included things I did not confess to like throwing four stones with one of them hitting the target. There were also confessions against me by other boys. I was told my sentence would have been harsher had I not accepted the plea bargain.
 
I was released on 25 October 2017 and I went home with my parents. In prison I attended classes where they taught us the alphabet, which I found very boring.