Last Updated: 12:52AM BST 27 Aug 2008
By Tom Leonard in New York
Telegraph: British and American activists jailed by the Chinese for protesting about Tibet during the Olympics said 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.
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, Ms 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 will teach their citizens to abide and respect China's laws".
Ms McKeown was arrested in Beijing on Thursday after photographing three protesters as they unfurled a Free Tibet banner.
She said: "We were arrested and taken to a university for questioning. We were held for nearly 24-hours without any sleep and were interrogated for up to about eight hours.
"Then we were moved to a detention centre and before we were allowed any sleep we had another 12 hours of interrogation."
Ms McKeown said she was not given any legal reason for her arrest.
"The guys I was with were given the reason that it was illegal to undertake even a peaceful protest and to talk about the situation in Tibet," she said.