Occupied Jerusalem, ALRAY - Two Israeli human rights organizations documented the wide-scale violations that committed against Palestinian minors in east Jerusalem by Israeli occupation authorities.
B’Tselem and HaMoked organizations collected 60 affidavits from East Jerusalem teenaged boys who had been arrested and interrogated over the space of a year and a half, from May 2015 to October 2016.
This conduct exposes Israel’s policy which aims to allows occupation authorities to continue the policy of maltreatment of Palestinian minors while shrouding in a cloak of legality an extensive, systematic and well-documented abuse of the fundamental human rights of hundreds of minors, every year, for decades.
The report said that Palestinian teenagers from East Jerusalem are pulled out of bed in the middle of the night, unnecessarily handcuffed and then made to spend a long time waiting for their interrogation to begin. Only then, when they are tired and broken, are they taken in for lengthy interrogation sessions, without being given the opportunity to speak to a lawyer or their parents before the questioning begins and without understanding that they have the right to remain silent. They are then held in the detention facility under harsh conditions, for days and weeks, even once the interrogation has, in fact, ended. In some cases, all this is attended by threats, verbal and physical abuse – before or during the interrogation.
Without the protection of their parents or any other adult they can trust, and in complete disregard of their youth, the boys have to endure this entire process alone, far from their families, away from their normal daily routine and anything familiar, the report noted.
The reported explained that the accounts given by the boys indicate that the adults around them – police officers, agents of the ISA (Israel Security Agency), prison guards and judges – treat them as though they are not entitled to anything at all. Whenever the boys make requests that are granted – be it for food and drink, a towel, access to the toilet or speaking to their parents – it is seen as a gesture of good will, completely at the discretion of whoever is in charge.
It added that these practices leave law enforcement agencies free to use pressure to force them to confess. And indeed, many of the detained minors sign involuntary confessions (sometimes the confessions are false and sometimes written in a language they do not understand), which are then used as the basis for the indictments against them.