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Matthew Hedges: I was shackled and forced to stand still for 24 hours

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4 days 23 hours

Matthew Hedges: I was shackled and forced to stand still for 24 hours

The British academic Matthew Hedges who was jailed for several months in UAE has disclosed more details about the torture he was subjected to during his detention including being shackled and forced to stand still for 24 hours.

Speaking at BBC's Today programme, Matthew said he had suicidal thoughts during the ordeal and dreamed that he had hung himself.

The 31-year-old said the toll on his mental health was "unbearable".

He said: “I was psychologically being tortured, especially with the cocktail of medication I was being given.

“I wasn’t able to manage my thoughts throughout the incarceration. That was the hardest thing for me to deal with, there was no way to deal with it.”

Matthew revealed at one point during his interrogation, he had cuffs attached to his feet.

He said: “I was shackled. When I had to go to the bathroom or use the shower, I would be escorted by four guards and I would wear ankle cuffs [and] whenever I was transported I was blindfolded and handcuffed.

“On one of the days I tried to tell to truth to inspectors, I had to stand all day in ankle cuffs.”

He added: “It was mentally exhausting, but physically your adrenaline takes over, but it’s how it made you feel mentally.”

At his lowest point, Matthew said he had been suffering from panic attacks and even had suicidal thoughts.

Earlier this month, Matthew was granted a presidential pardon from a life term in jail on allegations of spying. He was detained by Emirati state security officers in May. 

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