British, US pro-Tibet activists locked to chairs during marathon Chinese interrogation

August 27th, 2008 - 1:31 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Aug 27 (ANI): British and American activists arrested by the Chinese for protesting about Tibet during the Olympics have said that they were locked to their chairs for marathon interrogation sessions and deprived of sleep.

The activists, including eight Americans, a German and Amanda McKeown, a mother of two from Bristol, were sent home on Sunday during the games closing ceremony.

They said they were kept in cells and allowed to leave only for interrogations, which dragged on for up to 16 hours at a time, The Telegraph reported.

With lights shining on them, prisoners were locked into high-backed metal chairs with bars across their laps.

The protesters said they were made to wear dirty uniforms of red T-shirts and black shorts. Drinking water was turned on for only 15 minutes a day.

Arriving at Heathrow airport, McKeown, 41, said she was elated to be back in Britain after being held for three days without charge.

Speaking in New York, the American protesters said their Chinese interrogators accused them of having ties to the US Government.

They asked about our actions, our roles, about our lives - everything from where I went to high school to everything I ate in China, said Jeremy Wells, a New Yorker.

Jeff Rae, a 28-year-old photographer from New York, described their imprisonment as the scariest - it was beyond anything I could imagine in a movie.

Many of the detainees said the Chinese kept some of their electronics, including cameras and laptop computers.

The American government has expressed disappointment that the Olympics did not bring more openness and tolerance in China.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that the protesters participated in ”Tibet independence” activities and that is against China’’s law.

The statement said China hoped the relevant countries would teach their citizens to abide and respect China’’s laws.

McKeown was arrested in Beijing on Thursday after photographing three protesters as they unfurled a Free Tibet banner. (ANI)

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