Interview with a Child Prisoner

| May. 7, 2009 | Manchester, England

PALESTINIAN Anan Mohammed, 25, was imprisoned by the Israelis during the intifada of 2002. A speaker at Children and Conflict Week, Mohammed spoke to Student Direct about his experiences of being beaten and humiliated during his A-level years.

Having undergone six stints in prison, the longest of which lasted 18 days, Mohammed insisted: “I have never seen a judge or been to a court.” He was imprisoned for breaking the Israeli curfew in a detention camp near Ramallah.

“Basically, the Israeli army invaded my city,” he said. In response to the invasion seven years ago, locals threw stones at Israeli jeeps. “This was symbolic. There are much more violent ways of attacking Israelis than throwing stones.”

Mohammed claimed the attacks from the Israelis were about humiliation. “They would wake up the family at 3am and blow up the doors needlessly,” he said, adding that people were willing to open doors rather than have them destroyed. When imprisoned, he was blindfolded and allowed to feed with one hand tied behind his back.

Mohammed claims that the Israelis targeted Palestinians at important times in their lives such as during their A-levels or final degree years. Palestinian universities have no tolerance for “mitigating circumstances” so students were often forced to choose between risking disruption to their already troubled lives and re-sitting exams – or collaborating with the Israelis.