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IDF uses torture in interrogation of Mufid Hamamreh, age 15, November 2000

Mufid Hamamreh, age 17

At midnight on 9 November 2000, fifteen soldiers entered my house. Some of them had masks on and some had colored lines painted on their faces. They were looking for my brother Hasnin and me. Hasnin, who is twenty years old, was not at home. I was asleep in my room.

The soldiers took me outside, covered my eyes with a kerchief and tied my hands and feet. We walked for about three hundred meters to their jeep. They put me inside, with my head next to the speaker of a tape recorder that they played at high volume for a few minutes. One of the soldiers hit me in the head. We drove for twenty minutes before getting to Etzion. They left me lying on the ground in a summer shirt in the freezing cold for around twenty minutes.

Two soldiers came took me to the clinic. I remained blindfolded. At the entrance to the clinic, they told me to walk straight and I bumped into the door. Then I was taken to the interrogation room. The interrogators beat me and tramped heavily on my legs.

The beating lasted for around an hour. Then they stood me up in the middle of the room. The interrogators stood on opposite sides of the room. They turned me into some kind of ball, throwing me from one to the other for about fifteen minutes. They took a water sprayer filled with very cold water and sprayed the water on me, mostly into my ears and mouth and on my chest.

Then they brought three iron steps, tied me to them, and told me to lift them up, but I fell and couldn't do it. My shoulder hurt a lot when I fell. I still have a scar from the steps. One of them stood me up and punched me with great force. I fell to the floor and my nose started to bleed. The interrogators brought a bottle of water. I thought that they would try to stop the bleeding, but they poured it [the water] on my back. They took me to the doctor, who treated me and gave me medication. After a few minutes, my nose stopped bleeding. Among the things that they did to me during the interrogation were to extinguish cigarettes on my body and to beat me with a metal ruler.

Two interrogators took me to the courtyard. Because of the nosebleed, the blindfold had been removed, and I could see the two soldiers. They were in civilian clothes and their faces were covered. I remained in the outer courtyard. They put an empty pail on my head and, for half an hour, splashed water on the upper part of my body. They brought pieces of ice and forced me to swallow a piece and rubbed another piece along my chest. Then they took me to the bathroom, and for about five minutes flushed the toilet and splashed water on my face.

Then they took me to the Police offices. There were two people there. One of them was Alex, who was around forty years old and was wearing a police uniform. He limped and was bald. The other fellow was nicknamed "Captain John." He was around thirty, tall, and had white hair. The two of them kicked me and asked me how many times I threw stones. I told them that I never did.

The interrogation lasted for around thirty minutes, until two soldiers came and took me to a room with seventeen detainees. When they placed me in the room, my throat was really hurting, and I told the soldiers. They took me to a cell where I remained alone for three days. I was tired and very sick and couldn't eat the food because my throat hurt. After three days had passed, attorney Khaled al-A'arj came to see me. He saw my condition and told them to take me to the doctor.

First they took me to court, and the court extended my detention until 17 November. After the court hearing, I was taken to the doctor. He gave me medication and told me to take it after eating. I was taken back to the cell and that same day, between four and five o'clock in the afternoon, two soldiers came and took me the interrogation room.

There were three interrogators in the room. My brother Hasnin was also there. He had turned himself in the day after I was arrested. Right in front of me, the three interrogators beat my brother, kicking him in the abdomen and legs. One of them burned my brother with a cigarette and told Hasnin that he would shoot me if he didn't confess to everything. Then they took me back to the cell, and I did not know what happened to my brother. I stayed there until 17 November. On the 17th, they took me to the Gush Etzion military court, and I was ordered to be detained until the end of the legal proceedings. After all the procedures were taken care of, a policeman and policewoman took me to Megiddo Prison. At Megiddo, I was put in a tent with eighteen detainees.

I remained in Megiddo for six days short of six months. I was released on 2 May at 8:30 A.M., and arrived home at four in the afternoon.

Mufid Hussein Muhammad Hamamreh, born on 14 November 1984, resident of Husan Village, Bethlehem District.
The testimony was given to Suha Zeid at the minor's home on 3 May 2001.