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Testimony: M.Y.M.S.


Name: M.Y.M.S.
Age: 15
Date: 23 April 2019
Location: Beit Fajjar, West Bank
Accusation: Weapon possession

On 23 April 2019, a 15-year-old minor from Beit Fajjar was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 3:00 a.m. and accused of weapon possession. He reports ill treatment. He reports consulting with a lawyer prior to interrogation but not being informed of his right to silence by the interrogator. He reports being sentenced to 1 month in prison and fined NIS 1,000.

My mother woke me up when Israeli soldiers raided our home at around 3:00 a.m. They banged at the door and my father answered. About 20 soldiers entered our house accompanied by two service dogs. More soldiers were waiting outside making the area look like a war zone.
A soldier asked to see our identity cards and then they separated me from my family and took me outside. A soldier accused me of possessing a weapon and pointed to a location in the garden and told me to dig it up. I dug where they indicated and gave them a few pieces of water pipe.
Then the soldiers pushed me to the ground, tied my hands to the back with one plastic tie which caused me a lot of pain. They swore at me and called me “a son of a whore” and slapped and kicked me. Then they blindfolded me and took me into the back of a jeep. There was an empty seat so I sat on it but a soldier pushed me down to the floor and slapped me while I was blindfolded. 
The jeep drove to a nearby roundabout at the entrance to the settlement. They took me out of the jeep, sat me under a tree in the middle of the roundabout and made me take off my clothes. I was in my boxer shorts and the soldiers surrounded me. It was a cold night and I felt humiliated. 
Later I was allowed to put my clothes back on and they took me to the police station in Etzion settlement. I was left in a room with an air conditioner turned on very cold. They made me sit on a chair without a back and I was uncomfortable and could not sleep. 
Later I was examined by a doctor who removed the blindfold and put it on again after the examination. I was taken back to the cold room and I sat on the chair without a back until around 6:00 a.m. Then they walked me a short distance and searched me in my boxer shorts and then took me to a cell where they removed the tie and the blindfold. At around noon I was tied and blindfolded again and taken for interrogation.
The interrogator removed the tie and the blindfold and immediately phoned a lawyer and allowed me to speak to him. The lawyer told me not to confess even if the interrogator accuses me of throwing stones. He also told me if I am shown photographs to say I am not in the photographs. He did not say anything about the right to silence. The interrogator listened to my conversation with the lawyer which lasted for less than a minute. 
Without informing me of my right to silence the interrogator wanted to know how I made the weapon. He also told me I had to give him the names of 10 of my friends. I told him I did not have friends and I was not involved in stuff. When I said this he repeated his demand but in a loud voice to scare me. He kept insisting that I give the names of my friends. He showed me satellite images of houses in my village and wanted me to tell him who lived where. The interrogation lasted for about an hour but I did not confess to anything. 
At the end of the interrogation I was shown documents in Hebrew and told to sign them. I asked that the documents to be translated and then I signed because they were identical to what I had said. 
Then I was taken to  another interrogator who did not inform me of my rights. He asked me to repeat what I said and he typed everything into a computer. He continued to type when I stopped talking and when I asked him what he was typing he said he was typing what I was telling him. I was very suspicious of him. This interrogation lasted for about 30 minutes. He had a voice recorder and made me sign documents in Arabic.
After the second interrogation I was taken to a cell at the police station where I was searched in my boxer shorts. Shortly afterwards I was taken to Ofer prison, near Jerusalem. On arrival at Ofer I was searched in my boxer shorts again before being taken to section 13. I ate and went to bed. It was around 9:00 p.m. 
The following day I was taken to Ofer military court. The military judge extended my detention and I was taken back to prison. I had six military court hearings and at the last one I was sentenced in a plea bargain to 31 days in prison and fined NIS 1,000. I don’t think I was given a suspended sentence.
I spent my sentence at Ofer. I was released on 10 May 2019 a few days early for good conduct. I was released at Al Jib checkpoint but my parents were told to wait at Ofer. My father sent me a taxi which took me to the other checkpoint and I went home with my parents. We arrived home at around 10:30 p.m.