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Chronicle of Fear: Sixteen Year-Old Palestinian Boy Reports Abuse During Interrogation in Military Jail

Popular Struggle Coordination Committee


Soldiers escorting the bound and blinfolded Mohammed into a military jeep on the day of his arrest. Picture credit: Hamde Abu Rahmah

December 1, 2010

Mohammed Abu Rahmah was arrested from his house during a military nighttime raid on his village of Bil'in on November 23rd. Abu Rahmah, the son of imprisoned Bil'in organizer, Adeeb Abu Rahmah, was released without charge on Monday, and reports being harassed and beaten during his questioning.

On November 23rd, 2010, Israeli forces entered the village of Bil'in and stormed the home of imprisoned Bil'in organizer, Adeeb Abu Rahmah. After conducting a short search of the premises, the soldiers arrested Adeeb's only son, sixteen year old Mohammed, who was taken away bound and blindfolded.

Mohammed reports being taken to the Maccabim military base, where he arrived at about 3 AM. He was then, still handcuffed and blindfolded, transported to the Ofer Military Prison, where the authorities refused to process him. Mohammed was then taken back to the Maccabim military base, where he was held until 11 AM, still with cuffed and blindfolded, and without being allowed to go to toilet.

Finally arriving at Ofer Prison at around noon, where the shackles and blindfold were eventually removed, Mohammed was taken into interrogation without allowing him to catch some sleep. On entering the interrogation room, he was cuffed again in both hands and legs, and sited on a chair in front of a man who introduced himself as "Captain Fares". The interrogator then told Mohammed that the case against him is rock solid and can lead to a sentence of up to a year in jail. "Captain Fares" then said that the only way for Mohammed to avoid imprisonment is to "cooperate" - by which he meant confessing to the unfounded suspicions against him, and incriminating others.

When Mohammed refused to confess or incriminate others who the interrogator mentioned by name, "Captain Fares" responded by shouting at him, cursing him, and a few times even assaulting him physically with slaps to the face. At some point, as Mohammed kept insisting on his right to remain silent, the cuffs around his wrists and ankles were tightened even more then they were before, and the interrogator grabbed his neck as if he was about to choke him. When Mohammed refused to identify his imprisoned father in a picture shown to him, he was punched in the chest.

After about two hours of violent questioning, Mohammed was asked to sign a paper with a transcript of his interrogation, which he refused to do, and was then physically forced to give his fingerprints.

It is common practice in Israeli interrogation rooms to try and extract confessions and incriminations from detained Palestinian minors using threats and abuse. Many cases and convictions at the military court, including that of Adeeb Abu Rahmah, Mohammed's father, are based on such incriminations by detained youth.

Mohammed, who since his father's arrest, 17 months ago, Mohammed serves as the family's sole provider, was eventually released from custody Monday night (November 29th), on 8,000 NIS bail since the military prosecution could not present evidence justifying his remand.

:: Article nr. 72408 sent on 02-dec-2010 01:04 ECT


Link: popularstruggle.org/content/chronicle-fear-sixteen-year-old-reports-abuse-during

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