Children, Palestinians, Prisoners
I opened the door. There was a soldier in front of me. He asked me “Are you Tayeb?” I told him yes I was and he grabbed me, twisted my hands and beat me up. We headed for the door that looks out on to the street. My neighbour threw something at the soldier, which put him in a bad mood, and he began to hit me. He hit my face, very hard.
Tayeb, arrested aged 14, al- Fawar refugee camp
When they are arrested, usually in the middle of the night, minors are blindfolded and have their hands tied tightly with plastic rope that cuts into their flesh. Three out of four suffer physical violence when they are arrested. Then they are taken to an interrogation centre without, most of the time, either them or their parents being informed of either the motive for the arrest or the place they are being held. During the journey to the interrogation centre, which can last several hours, they are insulted and humiliated and sometimes threatened and hit.
Most of the children that are imprisoned are charged with throwing stones. Once their sentence has been passed, 60% of them are transferred from the occupied territories to Israeli prisons, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
A soldier wearing a mask came and told me that they wanted to take me with them. He tied my hands very tightly behind my back with three pieces of plastic rope. He also blindfolded me using a piece of cloth. He didn’t let me get dressed before going out in the cold, nor did he let me say goodbye to my family before leaving. They didn’t tell me where they were going or the reason for my arrest.
** Hani, arrested aged 17, Naplouse**
Interrogations take place without a lawyer. They can last a few hours or several weeks during which, in most cases, minors remain handcuffed and, on occasions, tied to a chair. They are subjected to naked body searches that are designed to humiliate and frighten them. More than three quarters of them also endure physical violence between arrest and interrogation, in the form of kicks, slaps, and in some cases, electric shocks from a Taser. 20% of minors are subject to a solitary confinement during this time.
He said: “I have photos of you throwing stones.” I said: “No, I don’t throw stones and I don’t know the people in the photos.” (…) He overturned the chair that I was sitting on and beat me up. He said to me: “You must confess right now. Otherwise we will kill your friend Mohammad”. He hit me around the head and I said again: “I cannot confess because I haven’t done anything. I cannot confess to something that I haven’t committed.”
Salah, arrested aged 15, Beit Umar
Since October 2015, the Israeli authorities have placed nine Palestinian minors under administrative detention. This form of detention allows the Israeli authorities to hold a person for a maximum period of six months, renewable indefinitely. As a result, an administrative detainee is imprisoned without being charged and without trial, usually on the grounds of ‘secret’ information to which neither his lawyer nor he have access, in violation of international law.
I spent around eight years in administrative detention, not all in one go. When they arrest you they tell you nothing, you don’t know why. They simply give you a piece of paper telling you that you are now in administrative detention for six months or three months, signed by the military commander. There are some words that could apply to everyone saying that you pose a threat to public order or the region or whatever – that’s all they give you.
Ala Abou Maria, arrested aged 15
Read the full investigation on our website.