The child Awad Rajabi…. torture during interrogation that went beyond his childhood…and house-arrest that deprives him from his rights
On the 11th of last July, the Jerusalemite child Awad Omar Rajabi was arrested and started a journey of harsh interrogation and psychological pressure in "Rooms 4" section in Al-Maskobyeh police in West Jerusalem to extract confessions from him .... The first arrest of the boy was not easy or normal as he was subjected to beatings, torture and intimidation outweighing his childhood.
Awad Omar Rajabi, 14, told Wadi Hilweh Information Center what he was subjected to by the interrogators, such as solitary confinement, handcuffed, blindfolded and strangled, deprived of basic rights to food and drink, threats of electric shocks, extending his arrest during court sessions, and even releasing him and putting him under house-arrest.
Rajabi said: “The soldiers broke into my house in Silwan, where I was not there. I was in Nazareth with my grandmother. My father was arrested and they beat him and asked him to bring me to an immediate interrogation. They said to bring me even he needs to fly me from Nazareth”.
He added: “The next morning, at 9 am, my father turned me in to interrogation in “Rooms 4”. I left at 1:00 am. As soon as I entered the interrogation, my limbs were tied and I was blindfolded and I was detained in the corridor between the rooms. When I went to the interrogation room, the soldiers kept tripping me with their legs and kept pushing me from one side to another ... As soon as I entered the room, I did not know how many interrogators as the kicks, screamsand questions came from several sides and several people. They put a rope on my neck and pulled me back to choke me with the rope. They hit me on the face and I was forced to sit on the ground. I was also beaten from all sides with sticks.”
He continued: “I was lifted from my neck and then slammed into the ground. They beat me with a file full of papers on my back. They threatened me with electric shocks and I could hear it."
"I asked the interrogator to drink water or go to the toilet, and he would tell me if I confess and say what I know first he will let me go. When I said I was tired and wanted to sleep, I was slapped on the face," he said.
Rajabi remembers being cold, he said: "I felt cold because the cooling was high inside the small rooms and the windows were closed. I was forced to take off my shirt. When the tie was removed from my eyes, they kept turning the red light on and off several times in a row."
He explained that when the investigation ended and he went to the room, he remained in the waiting room for several hours and then presented to the court where the judge extended his detention. He added: “During the session, I showed my back and it had clear bruises. Immediately after leaving the court, I was interrogated again on another case, and I was subjected to similar beating in order to extract a confession from me. During the second hearing session, I showed the judge again the bruises on my back. He only allowed the lawyer to take pictures, and said: "The complaint is filed to the relevant authorities, (Mahash), "not here."
Rajabi was charged with throwing Molotov cocktails in the village of Silwan, and spent about a month and a half in Israeli prisons. He was released on 27/8/2018 under several conditions: house-arrest until the end of the legal proceedings against him, deportation from his house in Silwan to the neighborhood of Wadi Al-Joz, and payment of a cash guarantee in addition to signing financial guarantees. Earlier this month, Awad was presented to the court and the judge postponed his trial to mid-October.
The house-arrest imposed on Awad deprived him from attending school; he is in 9th grade. Rajabi and his family hope that the nightmare of imprisonment, deportation and the courts will end and he will return and practice his childhood and go back to his school.