|Date:||29 August 2019|
|Location:||Nahhalin, West Bank|
On 29 August 2019, a 16-year-old minor from Nahhalin was arrested by Israeli soldiers on his way home from school at 12:30 p.m. He reports being interrogated without first consulting with a lawyer or being informed of his right to silence.
I was on my way home after school when an Israeli military jeep drove by and a group of young boys threw stones at it. It was at around 12:30 p.m. The soldiers responded with tear gas and my eyes started to burn so I ran away from the area.
A soldier stopped me and wanted to know why I was running away. Two soldiers stepped out of the jeep and accused me and my friend of throwing stones at them. I denied the accusation and told the soldiers I was running away from the tear gas.
A group of women tried to intervene, including my friend’s mother. A friend of my father who was in the area phoned my father and told him to leave everything and come quickly. Both my father and my uncle came and tried to get me released.When the soldiers were talking to my father and the other women my uncle told me to run home and I did.
The soldiers then arrested my father and took him to the police station and told him they were not going to release him unless I turned myself in. The area commander threatened to cancel my father’s and brother’s work permit if I did not show up. He also told him he was going to raid our house in the middle of the night and arrest me. My uncle came to our house and told me the story and took me to the police station because none of us wanted my father detained or his work permit revoked.
At the entrance to the police station in the settlement of Bitar Illit the soldiers wanted to take a photoof me but I refused and told them I wanted to see my father to make sure they had released him. The soldiers then took me to the back of a jeep and made me sit on a seat. The jeep drove to the police station in Etzion settlement.
At Etzion I was taken out of the jeep and a soldier 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 also blindfolded me and took me to a room. It was around 2 p.m. The person in the room started to question me while I was still blindfolded. I objected but he did not care. He accused me of plotting to stab a soldier. I denied it and told him I was going home after school and had no intention of doing anything of that sort. I told him I wanted to go home because I had not done anything wrong.
Then he accused me of attempting to set fire to the fence surrounding the nearby settlement. I denied the accusation and told him I wanted to go home. Then he asked me whether I knew the names of the boys who threw stones at the soldiers. I told him I did not know the names and asked him to send me home. He did not inform of my rights and threatened to electrocute me with a taser at night and to beat me if I did not give him names. This lasted for about 10 minutes. Throughout this time I was tied and blindfolded.
After about 10 minutes I was taken to a corridor where a soldier removed the ties and the blindfold. About five minutes later I was taken to another room where they took my fingerprints and photograph, as well as a DNA sample from my mouth. Then I was taken to another room where I was questioned again.
The person who questioned me the second time was in civilian clothes and had a pistol on his side. He told me to sit down and not to be scared of him. He asked me whether I had ever done anything wrong and I told him I had not. Then he phoned a lawyer and handed me the telephone to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to be scared and to say I did not know anything about anyone. The interrogator was in the room as I spoke to the lawyer for less than 30 seconds.
Then I was taken to a cell where I was searched in my underwear. I was left in the cell for three nights and I could not sleep. I cried a lot because I was worried about my father as I did not know whether they had released him and whether they had cancelled his work permit or not.
On Sunday morning I was handcuffed and taken to Ofer military court. My mother and aunt were in court and the hearing was adjourned. After the court I was taken to Ofer prison where I was searched in my clothes and then I was taken to Section 13 with other boys.
Two days later I had another military court hearing. My parents attended and I was told that two soldiers had testified they had seen me throwing stones. My lawyer asked the court to release me on bail in order to go back to school as I am a top student. The military judge agreed to release me but the prosecutor wanted to appeal. The judge gave the prosecutor 24 hours to appeal. The following day I had another hearing and the judge decided to release me on bail. My parents had to pay 3,000 Shekels and an additional 14,000 shekels bond if I violate the conditions of my bail. I was told I have another hearing on 23 September 2019 which I have to attend.
After court I was taken back to prison. At around 9:00 p.m. I was told I was going to be released. At first I did not believe it. I took a shower and put my clothes on and at around 9:30 p.m. I was released. I was released on 4 September 2019 and I arrived home with my parents at around 1:00 a.m. I was very happy to be home and to go back to school.