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Testimony: I.M.W.S.


Name: I.M.W.S.
Age: 13
Date: 21 April 2018
Location: Azzun, West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones

On 21 April 2018, a 13-year-old boy from Azzun is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:30 a.m. following an incident in the street two days earlier. He reports being interrogated twice and, on both occasions, he was informed of his legal rights.

Two days before I was arrested my father asked me to buy some bread from the bakery to take with us on a picnic we were planning. It was around 2:00 p.m. As I walked to the bakery I noticed three Israeli soldiers walking towards me and I pretended I did not see them. I continued to walk but a soldier called me. When I responded the other two soldiers grabbed me, took my phone away and started to search me. 
The soldiers asked to see my identity card and I told them I did not have one due to my age. They took a photo of me and led me towards a military jeep. Soon my father arrived and he tried to pull me away from the soldiers who pulled me in the opposite direction. I then managed to free myself and started to run as fast as I could. A soldier chased me for about 50 meters but then gave up. I managed to run home but the soldiers arrested my father and kept him in prison for 10 days.
On 21 April, at around 2:30 a.m., I woke up when my bedroom light was suddenly turned on. I looked up and I saw three soldiers inside my bedroom. One of them told me to get up and change because I was under arrest. They gave my mother and grandfather a document saying they did not cause any damage during the arrest operation and my grandfather signed the document which was in both Arabic and Hebrew. 
Outside the house a soldier handcuffed me to the front with metal handcuffs which were not painful. They walked me about 100 meters and then blindfolded me. Then they took me to a troop carrier where I sat on a seat and we drove to the nearby military base at Zufin. 
At the base a doctor removed my blindfold and handcuffs and examined me and then handcuffed and blindfolded me again after he was finished. I remained at the base until around 7:30 a.m. when I was taken to the police station in Ariel settlement. I arrived there at around 11:00 a.m. At Ariel I waited in a room until around 1:00 p.m. and then I was taken to aninterrogation room.
The interrogator wore civilian clothes and had a camera in the room. He spoke to me via an interpreter. He removed the blindfold and the handcuffs and gave me a document in Arabic about my right to silence and my right to consult with a lawyer. He also told me anything I say could be used against me in court. Then he called a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to confess to anything or to confess on others. 
Then the interrogator accused me of throwing stones at soldiers and I denied the accusation. Then he asked me whether my father had helped me run away from the soldiers and I told him I was scared of the soldiers and managed to run away myself. He questioned me for about an hour and showed me some photographs. I continued to deny the accusation.
Then he showed me some documents in Hebrew and wanted me to sign them but I refused to sign. Then I was taken to the back of a jeep which drove to Zufin and then to the military court at Salem. In court I saw a lawyer who was representing me and the hearing was adjourned. After the hearing I was taken to Megiddo prison inside Israel where I was strip searched before being taken to the juvenile section.
I had two more military court hearings. During this time I was also taken for another interrogation at Ariel. The interrogator told me I had the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer. He allowed me to speak to a lawyer who told me to stick to my story. The interrogator accused me of throwing stones at soldiers and I denied the accusation. I was interrogated for about 15 minutes and I did not confess. The interrogator wanted me to sign documents in Hebrew but I refused to sign. 
At the last hearing the military court decided to release me and my father after paying 6,000 shekels. I was released on 29 April 2018 together with my father and we both went home together. The whole town came to our house to welcome us home. It was tough in prison. I did not have much to do and I was deprived of my freedom.