Members of the British naval crew seized by Iran were detained in solitary confinement, Britain's defense ministry confirmed Thursday. Lt. Col. Andy Price said some of the naval personnel had been "left alone" at points during their captivity, but said he would not elaborate until officials had held further talks with the sailors.
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It followed a claim from the family of one of the crew that a sailor had been kept in solitary detention while the 15 personnel were held.
Britain's defense ministry said the sailors were being debriefed about their 13 days in captivity, including questions about their treatment. A ministry spokeswoman said the debriefing sessions would continue Friday.
"There were times when they were left alone, but we will not go into any further detail until tomorrow," Price said. He said the personnel were spending time with their families and were "in good spirits," eating and drinking at a military base cafeteria.
Iran's Foreign Ministry said that, during the standoff, it had given Faye Turney, the only woman among the crew seized March 23, complete privacy - but she was seen in photographs with her male colleagues, indicating she had not been placed in solitary confinement.
Though several sailors appeared on Iranian state-run television, others were not filmed - raising the possibility they may have been separated from colleagues.
Several of the crew praised the treatment they had been offered Iran in interviews with Iranian broadcaster, but in a statement released as they arrived in Britain, the sailors said "the past two weeks have been very difficult."
"By staying together as a team we kept our spirits up, drawing great comfort from the knowledge that our loved ones would be waiting for us on our return," the statement read.