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Testimony: Border Police beat Iyad and 'Alaa Mazlum at the checkpoint, March 2009

Iyad Mazlum, student

Iyad Mazlum

I am a second-year student at the Open University in Abu Dis. I go there every day by public transportation from my village, a-Janiya. Sometimes, my cousin ‘Alaa, 22, goes with me. He studies at the same university.

Yesterday morning [28 March 2009], I went to the university as usual. My cousin was with me. At 10:15 A.M., we took a sherut [shared taxi] from Ramallah to Abu Dis. On the way, we were stopped at the checkpoint next to the village of Jaba'. There were four border policemen at the checkpoint.

Three cars passed through in front of us, their inspection taking no more than five minutes. When our turn came, a tall, dark-skinned, and heavyset policeman came over to us. He looked to be in his early twenties. He told us, in Hebrew, to give him our ID cards. We each gave them to him, he looked at them, and then he gave them all back except for mine and ‘Alaa's. He said, “Iyad Mazlum - get out.” I got out. Then he said, “'Alaa Mazlum - get out,” and ‘Alaa also got out. The policeman held his rifle and led us, as we walked in front of him, to the observation tower, about twenty meters away. In the meantime, more cars had pulled up and formed a line behind the taxi we came in. I had no idea what the policeman wanted from us. I didn't see anybody check our particulars by radio, as they sometimes do.

When we reached the tower, the policeman called to a policeman in the tower. The policeman who has brought us over, told me to go inside the tower. When I went inside, the other policeman came down the steps. He was pale-skinned and of average height and build, had a short beard, and was about 22 years old. At first, I thought he was from the Shabak [Israel Security Agency] He asked me my name, how old I was, and where I was going.

He pushed me hard against the wall. He searched my pockets. I didn't object to the search, but he was nevertheless violent. He kicked my legs to separate them, pushed me, and punched me in the back. “Why are you hitting me? What happened?” I asked him. “Quiet, quiet,” he said. Each time that I had asked him why he was hitting me, he would hit me harder. The other policeman joined him. He held my hands behind my back and hit me hard in the waist and back. I couldn't defend myself. They were armed, and we were closed inside the tower. I felt humiliated. I don't know why they beat me; I didn't do anything to them. After about ten minutes, they told me to go outside and wait.

The policemen took ‘Alaa inside the tower. I went to the taxi rather than wait outside. The passengers said, “Thank Heaven you're okay. What happened? Why did they take you?” I said that the policemen had beaten me.

About ten minutes later, ‘Alaa arrived. He walked slowly and was limping. His clothes were a mess, and he looked angry. The policemen told us to go. We continued on our way to the university. As we rode, I asked ‘Alaa what they did to him, and he said they beat him. A blow from a rifle injured him in the right leg.

I felt pain in my chest and waist. The blows didn't leave any marks on my body, but they still hurt. I didn't go to university, and I might go to the hospital today.
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Iyad 'Ayed Musa Mazlum, 19, is a student and a resident of a-Janiya, Ramallah and al-Birah District. His testimony was given to Iyad Hadad at the witness's house on 29 March 2009.
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