Rabat - A video depicting Palestinian teen protester Ahed Tamimi's prison interrogation was released on Monday by the teenager’s parents. The footage shows the 17-year-old being threatened and coerced by her Israeli interrogators into “cooperating with the authorities.”
Rabat – A video depicting Palestinian teen protester Ahed Tamimi’s prison interrogation was released on Monday by the teenager’s parents. The footage shows the 17-year-old being threatened and coerced by her Israeli interrogators into “cooperating with the authorities.”
According to Tamimi’s father, Baseem Tamimi, who released the video to the public, the footage shows an interrogation session that took place on December 26, 2017, just a week after Israeli authorities arrested the tean for slapping two Israeli soldiers in her West Bank village.
In the long excerpts–about two hours total–released to the public, two Israeli interrogators are shown threatening and intimidating the teen to “confess.”
Perhaps most notably, the video shows the two interrogators making suggestive and flirtatious comments about the teen’s body, fair skin, and “eyes of an angel.”
“My little sister is blonde and her eyes are like yours,” one of the interrogators says in the footage, further asking the 17-year-old girl: “How are you in the sun? Like my sister? Red, red, red?”
Throughout the whole interrogation, though, and in spite of the threats and intimidation to which her interrogators subjected her, Ahed remained resolutely silent, showing her interrogators that their techniques would not get her to “cooperate” with them. “I choose to remain silent,” was the only sentence she uttered in the whole footage.
At one point in the video, the two interrogators, determined to “break her silence,” threatened to detain her relatives and friends if she “does not say something.”
“We will arrest everyone in the video,” one of them said, referencing the teen’s viral soldier-slapping video. He added: “I don’t want to have to bring those children here… You say something, maybe we won’t need to.”
According to Dawoud Yusef, an activist advocating for the rights of Palestinian prisoners, the intimidation and harassment portrayed in Ahed’s interrogation revealed “a textbook example of the interrogation tactics” used to coerce and threaten “Palestinian children who are being prosecuted in both Israeli civil and military courts.”
These interrogation techniques, Mr. Yusef elaborated, include the “use of petty violence,” long and exhausting interrogation sessions, verbal threats targeting both children and their parents, and sleep deprivation.
According to Ahed’s father, his daughter was subjected to interrogation sessions that lasted for 12 hours. On one occasion, he explained, the teen activist was deprived of 40 hours of sleep before being forced into the routine of harassment and intimidation that characterized her interrogations.
Icon of Resistance
“The intended effect of these techniques is to break the child’s ability to resist the interrogators, and to provide them with the desired confession or information,” Dawoud Yusef commented.
Following the release of the footage, Ahed’s father expressed his pride in his daughter determination to remain silent. For him, her silence is a symbol of Palestinians’ refusal to kowtow to “the occupiers.” He said that the interrogators’ techniques did not succeed in “[breaking] the symbol that Ahed has created through her resistance to the occupation.”
“We want to reiterate Ahed’s message and the message of her generation: we are not victims, we are fighters for the freedom of our people… We want to tell mothers and fathers that their children are strong and can confront and fight this occupation,” Baseem said, before concluding that “There is no peace under this occupation and no silence under this occupation.”