Child Arrested in East Jerusalem
Defence of Children International (DCI) has issued an urgent appeal on behalf of 7 Palestinian children who have been transferred from an adult prison in the occupied West Bank to a prison inside Israel
The children were arrested in the middle of the night on the 11th February from a refugee camp near Ramallah in the West Bank. They were interrogated without the presence of a lawyer or family member and they have since been locked up in Ofer Jail in the West Bank along with adult prisoners. They are accused of throwing stones and in some cases Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers. They are being prosecuted in military courts. One of the children - a 14 year old boy called Ahmad described to DCI what happened when he was arrested: ‘I put on my clothes and asked the soldier to allow me to say goodbye to my father and mother but he refused. He grabbed me by the back and took me out of the house. We walked for several metres away from the house. Then he blindfolded me, tied my hands behind my back, and kept me in the street in the cold weather for about an hour.’ Later he was taken to an interrogation centre where he says: ‘Then a soldier took me to a room and removed the blindfold. I found myself standing before three interrogators. Suddenly, one of them slapped me on the neck and the other two pushed him away from me and took him out of the room.'
Following legal representations by DCI seven of the children - including Ahmad - have now been removed to Israeli jails. All of them are under 15. This makes it virtually impossible for family members to visit them or for them to get legal assistance. DCI has issued an urgent appeal for solidarity in the form of letters to elected representatives and Israeli embassies. To read the report in full go to: http://www.dci-pal.org/english/display.cfm?DocId=1412&CategoryId=1