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The Stages of Children's Arrests

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

1. Arrest in the middle of the night - About 70% of minors' arrests occur during the night. Soldiers break into the family's home and pull the child out of his bed, while the rest of the family is held in another room. The soldiers shout and curse throughout the entire process.

Artist: Miriam Shlezinger

2. Handcuffs and blindfolds - When a minor is arrested at his home, at school or in the street, the soldiers handcuff and blindfold him with a piece of cloth, and then take him to a military base or a police station for interrogation.

3. Parents are not informed - No one provides information to the parents about where the child was taken to, for how long and when they will see him again.

4. Preventing legal counsel - legal advice before interrogation is critical to the process, but Palestinian minors do not receive it. Not knowing your rights and what you are accused of is a serious violation of the law, let alone the affect it has on the child's rights during the process in court.

5. The interrogation - Interrogation is hard and traumatic for almost anyone. The investigators threaten the child that they can prevent earn of living and health care from his family members, and use lies like the one that his friends have already incriminated him.

Artist: Merav Salomon

6. Hearing in the military court - The military judge usually approves extended remand, the translation quality is poor, punishments are severe, and the minor is usually sentenced to time in prison.

7. Remand until end of proceedings - Contrary to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, or to any moral humanistic way, Palestinian children are kept in custody until the end of their proceedings. After conviction, which usually happens, children serve their sentence in prison along with adults.

8. Mental effects of child imprisonment - During time in prison, Palestinian minors experience existential anxiety, confusion, shame, guilt and general helplessness. Imprisonment with helpless adults and the worry about their family members, with whom they have no contact, create a lack of basic personal security which every child needs. After being released from prison, most of them suffer from severe post-traumatic disorder and find it difficult to integrate into everyday life.

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