London: A British man convicted in the UAE for spying said on Wednesday he was psychologically tortured and his captors asked him to turn double agent against the British government. Matthew Hedges (in pic), a university researcher, was detained at Dubai airport on May 5, held in solitary confinement for months and sentenced to life in prison on November 21 before being pardoned by UAE authorities five days later.
In his first broadcast interview since returning last week, Hedges was asked on BBC radio’s Today if he had been tortured and replied: “Psychologically, correct, yes.” Hedges described being put in ankle cuffs whenever he left his cell to go to the bathroom and said he was “blindfolded and handcuffed” when being moved to different premises.
One day when he repeated his denials that he was not spying for the British government, he said his interrogators forced him to stand up for an entire day wearing ankle cuffs. “It’s mentally exhausting. Physically, the adrenaline takes over. It’s how it made you feel mentally,” he said.