Child Prisoners and Defence for Children International

Our visits started at the DCI offices. It was a fairly harrowing meeting. We were told that Palestinian children as young as 12 are being tried in the Israeli military courts and sentenced to imprisonment.

We met a boy called Mahdi who was 17. He was arrested along with the other 17 boys who attended the mosque with him. After 2 days detention, he was interrogated for 2 days. He had no access to his family, nor a lawyer, he said. He refused to sign a confession and was taken to court where he was given 90 days "Administrative Detention" - detention without charge or trial. He was later brought before the military court and given a 13 months sentence for membership of Hamas. He served 7 months in an adult prison, alongside other boys, many of who were younger than him. During his detention he was visited three times by his 13 year old sister. This was the only family visit he got and it was arranged by the Red Cross.

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