Affidavit No. 5809/2010

Sworn Statement

After having been warned to tell the truth and nothing but the truth or else I shall be subjected to penal action, I, the undersigned, Asma’ Yaser Ahmad Muna, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 933320681, born on 16 August 1980, a teacher at al-Tadhamon Association, and a resident of al-Dhahiya area, Nablus city, Nablus governorate, would like to declare the following:

I used to work at al-Tadhadmon Charitable Association in Nablus. It is an Association that places people to work in schools and community centres. I started working at the Association on 1 January 2003.

On 20 July 2009, I was summonsed by telephone to the Preventive Security headquarters. They said to me, “Asma’, we want you at the Preventive Security headquarters in Nablus for one hour.” I went there and spent almost three hours waiting and being interrogated. The interrogation was about the Association and my work there, whether the Association belonged to the Hamas movement, and the nature of my working relationship with my manager. They said that my manager was a member of Hamas. I explained to them the nature of my work and my relationship with the manager. I told them that I was the Head of the Orphans Department at the Association and that I submit monthly reports on the progress of work in the department.

The person who interrogated me was called Taleb Daghlas. He said to me “you should go home and quit your work at the Association.” I told him “you are not the one who decides that,” rejecting his demand. He told me to leave and come back the next day, which I did. When I returned the next day, he produced a pledge and demanded I sign it but I refused. He said that if I returned to my office, in ‘Aloul and Abu-Salha Building in Nablus city, Preventive Security would come and get me. I did not go to work for four months, from 20 July 2009 until mid November 2009. Eventually, ‘Ala’ Maqboul, the Association’s Chairman, telephoned me and said he wanted to meet with me in the office. I went to the office, and he told me that my problems with the Preventive Security were over and that I could go back to work at the Association, provided that I worked as a teacher.

I returned to work from mid November 2009 until 31 July 2010, when I received a notice summonsing me again to the Preventive Security headquarters. I went to the interview at the headquarters on 1 August 2010 as scheduled in the notice. I waited from 10:00 am until 3:30 pm. At 3:30pm I went into an interrogation room where a woman was waiting for me. “Asma’, we need some personal information from you” she said. She noted down what I said in a file. After she had finished making notes the interrogator, Taleb Daghlas, came in. He commented on the fact that I had been to the headquarters in the past and asked whether I had a computer at home. “Yes, I have one.” I replied. He said that they would bring it in to the Preventive Security headquarters. I replied that I had no problem with that but there were personal photographs on the computer and that therefore a woman, not a man, should examine it. He confirmed that they wanted to see the computer, and I insisted that a women should check the computer.

The interrogator left and another interrogator came in. I did not ask this interrogator’s name, and he did not introduce himself. He was tall, of pale complexion, and black hair. “Who did you vote for in the legislative elections and at university?” he asked. “Did you wear a green ribbon?” Another interrogator then came in and accused me of being affiliated with the Hamas movement and stated that the Association belonged to Hamas. He said that people in the Association give money to Hamas. The questions were asked in a sarcastic tone of voice and the interrogators demanded information from me about certain individuals and my opinion of them. A women in civilian clothing also came in and asked me to provide detailed information about the nature of my work at the Association.

During the interrogation, I was moved around to different interrogation rooms. I performed my prayers and was given lunch. I ate a little. At around 1:30 pm I was interrogated again. A different interrogator interviewed me. “You don’t want to talk” he said. “I have said all that I have to say. If you have a question, you can ask,” I replied. He talked like all the other interrogators, saying that I was affiliated with Hamas and that the Association worked for Hamas. He said that they had imprisoned my manager and that he had told them a lot of things about me. I told him that I had said all I had to say, and that if my manager had said something different to what I had told them, he was lying.

Interrogator Taleb Daghlas then returned. He told me that I should resign from the Association. I refused, and he told me to come back the next day. I said I wanted to finish everything that day, even if it meant me staying late but he insisted I come back the next day. When I asked to have my ID card back, he said “we will keep your ID card; there are no checkpoints in Nablus.” I said “What if I have to leave Nablus?” He told said “You are forbidden from leaving Nablus. You want to leave Nablus in order to collect money for the Hamas movement!” The interview ended at around 3:30pm and I went home. My ID card remained at the headquarters.

As agreed, I returned to the Preventive Security headquarters the next day. I was supposed to sit with the interrogator Taleb Daghlas for another hour, in order to finish the case and leave. I told the women at the headquarters that I wanted to have my interview with Taleb Daghlas. One of the women said that she would contact him. However, a new interrogator appeared instead. He had a piece of paper and a pen in his hand and said I should resign and submit my resignation or pledge my resignation in writing. I refused. He asked why I refused. I told him “it is difficult to find a job these days. I do not have any problems with the Association and they have no issues with me. I do all the tasks assigned to me, including writing reports and other work.

The Association is satisfied with my work.”
He told me to think about it and left me alone for about an hour and a half. The woman who had taken information from me the previous day returned, and asked me what I wanted to do. I told her that the interrogator had not given me any alternative except for resignation. She said I should resign and asked “If you don’t resign, what would you do?” I told her that I refused to resign and that if I had the choice between the threat of detention and resignation, I would choose detention. She said “if you don’t submit your resignation, you will come to the headquarters every day and stay from morning until dusk.”

The woman then asked me for information about my bank account and the banks that I deal with. After that I performed noon prayers and I was brought food to eat. An interrogator, who I recognised from the previous day, asked why I did not want to resign. I repeated the same answer as before: “I cannot submit my resignation because not many jobs are available these days.”

It should be noted that the stated objective of my reporting to the Preventive Security was to have an interview with the interrogator Taleb Daghlas, but he did not at any point appear. Finally the interrogator told me to come back the next day, which I did. However, a delegation  from the International Committee of the Red Cross was visiting the headquarters, so I was not allowed in and was told to leave.

At around 11:00 am on the fourth day, 4 August 2010, I went again to the Preventive Security headquarters. I sat in the waiting room on the first floor for almost half an hour. As I was waiting my blood pressure dropped and I felt dizzy and exhausted. I was directed to the fourth floor for interrogation. Colleagues from my work were also there to be interrogated. A female officer conducted a thorough search of me and my colleagues. We handed over our personal belongings. At that moment I realised that these are the procedures that take place when one is being detained.

During the search, I told the female officer that I was tired and needed a doctor. She said that the doctor was in al-Jneid area west of Nablus city and that they did not have another doctor at the headquarters. I explained I felt faint and needed someone to measure my blood pressure, but she told me they did not have the device to take my blood pressure. Then, she directed me and my colleagues back to the room. I felt very exhausted and so I went into another room which had a bed in it. I felt dizzy and sat on a chair. On several occasions I felt suffocated and could not breathe. A colleague of mine saw me and he and the female officer gave me some medical assistance. They called my doctor, who took almost an hour to arrive. After he examined me, he said I was suffering from spasms. He said that he would give me a tranquiliser injection, but I refused it. “You will continue to be in this condition if you don’t allow me to help you, or you should go home” he said. The doctor went to the interrogators and requested they give me permission to go home. From what I could hear the doctor saying, it was clear to me that the interrogators had refused his request. The doctor came back and saw that I was still unwell, so he went back to the interrogators and told them that I should be allowed to leave.

Later, the interrogators came to the room and said I could leave. They told me to call my brothers to take me home. On Thursday 5 August 2010, I did not go to the Preventive Security headquarters. I also did not go on Friday since it was a day off. On Saturday 7 August 2010, I went back to the headquarters and waited for two hours but I was not interviewed. They said I could leave but they kept my ID card. Since that date, I have not gone back to the headquarters.

I feel that going to the Preventive Security headquarters was a waste of time. I am determined not to submit my resignation from the Association. I want to know what my future will hold as at the moment it is summer holidays, and I do not know what will happen to my job in the Association when the new academic year begins.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 5809/2010
  • Field researcher: Muhammad Ra’i
  • Affidavit Date: 2 September 2010
  • Name: Asma’ Yaser Ahmad Muna