Voices from the Occupation: Rasheed J. - Detention

Posted on: 21 Nov 2011 | Filed under:

Name: Rasheed J.
Date of arrest: 4 November 2011
Age: 16
Location: Haris village, West Bank
Accusation:  Throwing stones

On 4 November 2011, a 16-year-old boy from Haris village, in the occupied West Bank, is arrested by Israeli soldiers and held in solitary confinement at Al Jalame interrogation centre for 13 days.

Two days before his arrest, Israeli soldiers came to Rasheed’s house when he was out. The soldiers told Rasheed’s father that his son must go to Zufin settlement on 4 November for questioning. On 4 November, Rasheed went to Zufin settlement as ordered. ‘Four soldiers immediately tied my hands behind my back with one set of plastic cords and tightened them up,” recalls Rasheed. “They also blindfolded me […] The soldiers put me in a military jeep and forced me to sit on the floor.” Rasheed reports that he remained on the floor of the vehicle inside the settlement for about five hours.

Approximately five hours later, Rasheed was transferred to another vehicle which transferred him to the Al Jalame interrogation and detention centre inside Israel. Rasheed’s hands and feet were shackled during the two hour journey. On arrival at Al Jalame, Rasheed reports being strip searched before being given a prison uniform and taken for interrogation. “I was forced to sit in a small low chair and my hands were tied to the chair,” recalls Rasheed. “An intelligence officer named ‘Jolan’ came to the room and started asking me general questions about me and my family. The interrogator said that I should cooperate and not try to deny anything because that would harm me. I kept sitting in the low chair for about two hours. They did not bring me any food or water, but they allowed me to use the bathroom,” says Rasheed.

About two hours later, Rasheed recalls being taken to Cell No. 36. “It was a very small cell and had a smelly mattress on the floor. It had two concrete chairs and a toilet with a nasty smell. There was a sink next to the toilet. There were two sources of artificial light in the ceiling; one of them was out of order and the other one was green. The walls were gray and rough. The cell had no windows, just gaps to let air in and out. They passed me food through a gap in the door. I was detained in Cell No. 36 for 13 days […] I was detained at Al Jalame for 19 days; 13 of which was in isolation in Cell No. 36,” says Rasheed.

Rasheed recalls being interrogated every day except Fridays and Saturdays. During these interrogations he was tied to a small chair. The interrogations lasted for about three to four hours. “The three interrogators asked me about preparing home-made grenades, but I never confessed. I confessed only to throwing stones because they interrogated me for long hours, during which time they kept shouting at me and threatening me. ‘You Arabs like to fuck camels and donkeys and go to brothels to fuck whores,’ one of them said to me. ‘You have no honour because your mother’s a whore,’ he said. They would shout at me and spat on me so I would confess, but I never confessed except to throwing stones.”After 19 days at Al Jalame, Rasheed was transferred to Megiddo prison, also inside Israel, in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits transfers out of occupied territory.

On 18 October 2011, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture called for an end to the practice of solitary  confinement as well as a complete ban on its use for juveniles. “Considering the severe mental pain or suffering solitary confinement may cause,” Mr. Méndez warned, “it can amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment when used as a punishment, during pretrial detention, indefinitely or for a prolonged period, for persons with mental disabilities or juveniles.”

28 November 2011