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Freed British sailors narrate their ordeal

Faye Turney, one of the sailors claimed that she was stripped by her captors in Iran.

world Updated: Apr 11, 2007 15:34 IST

After securing permission from the Defence Ministry to sell their stories to the media, two of the freed British sailors on Monday narrated their "ordeal" during the detention in Iran with one of them claiming that she was stripped by her captors.

In an interview published in The Sun on Monday, the maiden female sailor Faye Turney claimed that her captors stripped her to her knickers, warned that she might not see her three-year-old daughter Molly again and asked how she felt about "dying for her government".

"I was thrown into a tiny little cell and ordered to strip off. They took everything from me apart from my knickers. Then some cotton pyjamas were thrown in for me to wear and four filthy blankets. The metal door slammed shut again," 25-year-old Faye told the daily.

She revealed how she feared her captors were measuring her for her own coffin. She said that she was caged in a tiny freezing cell and kept in complete isolation for five of the 13 days of captivity in Tehran.

And Arthur Batchelor, the youngest of the 15 Brits taken hostage by the Iranians, told The Mirror that he was blindfolded, threatened, and left in solitary confinement for days.

Arthur, 20, said that Faye was convinced she was going to be raped after fanatical Revolutionary Guards who seized them became agitated on discovering that they had captured a woman.

He went on to narrate: "The blood drained from her face and Faye whispered 'There's going to be a rape involved in this.'"

Faye recalled: "One morning, I heard the noise of wood sawing and nails being hammered near my cell. I couldn't work out what it was. Then a woman came into my cell to measure me up from head to toe with a tape."

Faye also said that she was forced to write letters "confessing" to entering Iran's territorial waters.

She was threatened with years in prison as a spy if she did not follow her captors' demand.

But the most cruel trick played by the Iranian guards was to separate Faye from her 14 male comrades and tell her that they had all been sent home.

But despite enduring hours of interrogations, up to thrice a day, Faye said she bravely refused to give away any military secrets.

"They asked which were my ship's ports of call, where were other coalition ships in the Gulf, how do Royal Navy ships protect themselves, how do we communicate, what was the US doing?"

"I told them, 'how do I know? I'm just the bloody boat driver'. I tried to play the dumb blonde."

About the confession letter, Faye said on the fifth day of her detention, one of the interrogators told her that if she confessed to being in Iranian waters and wrote letters to her family, the British and Iranian people, she would be free within two weeks.

Faye was warned that if she didn't do it, they would put her on trial for espionage and would imprison her for several years.

"If I did it, I feared everyone in Britain would hate me. But I knew it was my one chance of fulfilling a promise to Molly that I'd be home for her birthday on May 8.

"I decided to take that chance, and write in such a way that my unit and my family would know it wasn't the real me."

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