Date of arrest: 1 June 2011
Location: Azzun, occupied West Bank
Accusation: Throwing stones, Molotov cocktails and shooting
On 1 June 2011, a 17-year-old boy from Azzun, in the occupied West Bank, is arrested by Israeli soldiers from the family home at 1:30 am.
‘At around 1:30 am I was sleeping when my father came and woke me up,’ recalls Othman. ‘I opened my eyes and saw him with six Israeli soldiers. My father asked me to change my clothes and come out to the living room where my three brothers were. An officer who introduced himself as Avek asked me for my name and I told him. “Can I have a word with him?” he said to my father and took me aside. My father was with me. “Your son has committed security violations, so we’ll take him for interrogation and bring him back if proven otherwise,” he said.
Soldiers then took Othman out of the house. ‘One of them tied my hands behind my back with one set of plastic cords and tightened them. He also blindfolded me. They took me out and forced me to stop near a military vehicle near the house. While I was standing there, one of them hit me so hard in the testicles and I felt so much pain,’ says Othman.
Othman was placed inside the vehicle and made to sit on the metal floor. He was taken the short distance to the settlement of Zufin, where he was briefly asked some questions about his health. After these questions, Othman was forced to sit outside until 6:00 am, still tied and blindfolded. At around 6:00 am, Othman was transferred to Petah Tikva interrogation centre inside Israel, in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. On arrival at Petah Tikva, Othman was strip searched, before being taken for interrogation.
‘An interrogator named Miro forced me to sit in a low metal chair that was tied to the floor in the middle of the interrogation room. He tied my hands to the chair for three hours, during which time he accused me of throwing stones, Molotov cocktails and shooting. At first I didn’t confess. About three hours later I confessed to some of the accusations made my Miro, who then untied my hands, but kept me sitting in the chair for two more hours.’ Two days later, Othman reports being interrogated for another five hours my Miro, before being transferred to Al Jalame interrogation centre, near Haifa, in Israel. Four days later, Othman was transferred back to Petah Tikva for further interrogation.
‘On 14 June I asked to speak with the interrogator but the jailer refused and said that they can’t let me talk to him. “If you don’t let me talk to him I’ll hang myself,” I said. He immediately called the female officer in charge. The female officer came and ordered the jailer to put me in solitary confinement under supervision and to stress abuse me. The jailer immediately dragged me out of the cell, slapped me twice and insulted me by saying: “You brother of a whore.” He took me to a room and I saw a metal door on the floor. He forced me to lie down and tied my hands and feet to the door. That was around 12:00 pm. He kept me tied to the door for 24 hours, and untied me only to eat or use the bathroom. I couldn’t sleep at all and felt so much pain,’ says Othman.
The following day, Othman was transferred to Megiddo prison, inside Israel.
22 June 2011