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Home » Children »

Testimony: H.D.D.A.

 

Name:  H.D.D.A.
Age:  14
Date:  25 February 2018
Location:  Tuqu, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 25 February 2018, a 14-year-old boy from Tuqu is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. He reports being interrogated without being informed of his right to silence and only being permitted to speak to a lawyer halfway thought questioning.

My father woke me up at around 2:00 a.m. and told me Israeli soldiers were surrounding our house. I was in shock; partly because I had just fallen asleep and partly because I could not comprehend what he was telling me. I was shivering. Shortly afterwards I heard loud banging at our front door. 
 
My father rushed to open the door when he saw that the soldiers had a device which they could use to force the door open; he did not want them to damage our door. About 25 soldiers entered our home; four soldiers were wearing face masks.
 
The commander took me and my father aside and showed us some photographs on his tablet. Then he searched my wardrobe looking for a particular shirt and he found it. He also took one of my trousers off the wash line on the balcony. Then the commander told my father I was under arrest. When my mother heard this she started to cry. The commander brought in a female soldier to control my mother and calm her down. 
 
The commander showed my father a document in Arabic saying they did not cause any damage to the house or harm me during the arrest operation. He asked my father to sign it and he did. Then he allowed me to say goodbye to my family and ordered the soldiers to take me outside.
 
The soldiers walked me a short distance down the street where they painfully tied my hands to the front with three plastic ties: one on each wrist and another connecting the two. They also blindfolded me and took me into the back of a troop carrier where I sat on a seat. 
 
The troop carrier drove to a nearby military base where I was left in a room on a chair until around 10:00 a.m. I could not sleep during this time. Then I was taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on a seat and the jeep drove to the police station in Etzion settlement. At Etzion I was immediately taken for interrogation.
 
The interrogator wore civilian clothes and had a pistol on his side. He removed the blindfold.  He did not inform me of any rights. He showed me a photograph of a masked boy with stones in his hands and wanted me to confess it was me. I denied it was me. 
 
Half way through the interrogation the interrogator asked me whether I wanted a lawyer. Then he allowed me to speak to a lawyer who told me to remain silent and not to sign any documents. 
 
The interrogation lasted for about an hour and the interrogator was calm throughout. In the end the interrogator showed me a document in Hebrew and asked me to sign it. In the beginning I refused to sign but then he told me I had to sign it because it only meant he could send me to Ofer prison. I was convinced and I signed.
 
After I signed the document my photograph and fingerprints were taken. Then I was strip searched and taken to a cell at Etzion where I remained until around 9:00 p.m. Then I was taken to Ofer prison where I was searched with my clothes on. I was put in Section 13 at around 10:30 p.m.
 
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. My parents did not attend the hearing. A lawyer was there. I had three hearings and my parents did not attend any of them because they wanted to punish me. My last hearing was on 5 March 2018 and the court decided to release me without charge for lack of evidence. 
 
After court I was taken back to Ofer prison where I packed my clothes and then I was released. I took a taxi home and my father paid him when I arrived. My mother was very happy to see me. My father has registered me at a vocational school because I dropped out of regular school when I was in 7th grade.