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Testimony: O.S.A.K.


Name:  O.S.A.K.
Age:  15
Date:  16 April 2018
Location:  Jayyus, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 16 April 2018, a 15-year-old youth from Jayyus is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 4:00 a.m. He reports being interrogated without first being informed of his right to consult with a lawyer or his right to silence. 

My mother and sister woke me up and told me Israeli soldiers were raiding our home. It was around 4:00 a.m. I got up and went to the living room and the commander asked to see my identity card. 
The soldiers searched our house looking for a particular shirt but they did not find it. They did not cause any damage while searching. Then the commander told me to put my shoes on because I was under arrest. He did not give us any documents and did not give a reason for my arrest. I said goodbye to my family and the soldiers took me outside.
Once outside I was tied with my hands behind my back with one plastic tie which was not painful. I was also blindfolded. I was then taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on the metal floor between the soldiers’ boots. The soldiers were singing loudly; songs about Israel in Hebrew. 
The jeep drove to the nearby base at Zufin where I sat on a chair in a courtyard. A soldier swore at me. I was still tied and blindfolded. Then I was taken to see a doctor who removed the tie and the blindfold and asked me if I had any illnesses. He put the tie and the blindfold on and I was taken in a jeep to the police station in Ariel settlement. At Ariel I was immediately taken for interrogation.
The interrogator was a policeman. He showed me some photographs which included pictures of me standing doing nothing. When I denied I had done anything wrong he threatened to bang my head against the wall. He banged the table aggressively in order to scare me. He accused me of throwing stones at soldiers during protests but I denied the accusation. He questioned me for about 30 minutes and I continued to deny the accusation. Half way through the interrogation he asked me whether I wanted a lawyer. I told him I did not need one. I was suspicious of him and worried he might appoint any one and make me believe the person was a lawyer. The interrogator did not say anything about the right to silence and did not give me any documents to sign.
After the interrogation they took my photograph and fingerprints. Then I was driven to Huwwara military base. I was tied and blindfolded and left outside by the jeep at the entrance to Huwwara for about five hours. My back ached as I leaned against the tire and I was exhausted.  A soldier made fun of me and asked me what I thought of the female soldiers with him. I pretended I did not hear him. Then he said how naively innocent I was. He spoke good Arabic. I was not given any food but a soldier gave me some water with salt in it then water with sugar in it. I did not use the toilet and I was very uncomfortable.
Later I was driven to Megiddo prison inside Israel. The trip took about two hours and the whole time I was sitting in a cage inside the vehicle. I arrived at Megiddo at around 10:30 p.m.  At Megiddo I was strip searched and then I was taken to the juvenile section.
The following day I was taken to Salem military court. My mother and uncle and my lawyer were in court and the judge decided to extend my detention and the hearing was adjourned. I had three hearings and at the last one the judge decided the time I had already spent in prison was enough and decided to release me. He also ordered my family to pay a fine of 1,700 shekels and told them they would have to pay 20,000 shekels if I am arrested again in the next two years. 
I was released on 25 April 2018 from Megiddo prison. I was dropped off at Al Jalama checkpoint where my uncle was waiting for me and I went home with him. I arrived home at around 9:00 p.m. My friends and relatives took me in a car convoy around the village. My grandmother was very happy to see me back and she sang a special song which she had written herself especially for me. 
My family did not visit me in prison and I was very bored and did not find it easy to mix with the other boys. I watched television and spent a lot of time by myself. I am in tenth grade and I would like to study to become a journalist.