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LONDON, Jan 27 — A British teenager convicted of lying about being gang-raped in Cyprus is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as she awaits her appeal, The Sun newspaper reported today.
“I lost 2.5 stone (16 kilogrammes, 35 pounds), in prison. I was really thin when I came out,” she told the tabloid in her first comments since being handed a suspended four-month jail term and returning to Britain this month.
“They put me on drugs, on Xanax, even though I didn’t want to,” she said, referencing a mild tranquilliser. “Most prisoners were drugged, it seemed they thought that was easier. It gave me horribly vivid dreams, hallucination.”
The 19-year-old cannot be named while she appeals against her conviction in Cyprus’s Supreme Court.
The case has been controversial from the outset — not only with the British media but also with the UK government, which has raised concerns over her treatment by the Cypriot legal system.
She was convicted of causing a “public mischief” but her team called the judgment “unfair” when it filed the appeal earlier this month.
The woman told The Sun she now slept for up to 20 hours and developed others PTSD symptoms, including when she hears a foreign language spoken by men.
“The most I can manage is going to the gym with friends and spending time with my (dog). I can’t think further ahead than that yet,” she said.
She also stood by her claim that local police had forced her to sign a confession in which she admitted making up being gang-raped.
“I was panicking by now and I told a social worker in the police station what had happened. But she just said, ‘There’s nothing you can do now’,” she recalled.
She described developing a “normal holiday romance” with an Israeli nicknamed Sam. The pair went up to a “grotty” hotel room at around 2:45 am.
“About five minutes later, I heard the sound of the room door opening and turned around,” she said.
Twelve men “were lining up, excited, talking and shouting in Hebrew. I was trying to fight them off but I just couldn’t. They were like a pack of animals — a pack of wolves,” she said.
The woman spent a month in a Cyprus prison. She was released on bail and stayed in Cyprus for the duration of her high-profile trial. — AFP
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