A local woman says she was detained in Turkey after recording border violence and still has bruises from her treatment.

Alexandra Foreman, from Chorleywood, had flown to Turkey to document the plight of members of the Ahmadi religious minority in the country and record their border crossing into Bulgaria as refugees.

According to Amnesty International, the Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light, first established in 1993, have been persecuted in countries such as Algeria for their beliefs.

The 104 members in Turkey had apparently sought refuge there, before trying to move into Bulgaria on May 24, because the Turkish government appeared set to deport them to their home countries.

Alexandra, 34, told the Watford Observer: “We went to film a documentary and thought it would happen smoothly as we filmed them approaching the border, but it descended into violence.

“We were very aggressively arrested.”

The NHS worker had filmed documentaries on social issues before, with Serman Al-Khafaji, 43, from Scotland, but this was set to be their first major project.

In a voice recording, Serman described being “thrown to the ground”, “beaten” and “smacked around” as he tried to keep hold of the camera at the border.

Alexandra, who says she was also left with bruises, described being kept in a “disgusting” cell for five days without ever being charged. The pair were unable to leave the country until Sunday (June 4).

“We were really scared,” she added. “They kept saying I bit someone.”

Once out of the cell, Serman said the pair were repeatedly delayed after being told they would be able to fly out, and had rationed food. He thought it was likely the trip back was delayed to hide their bruises.

She added: “It's and incredibly big relief to be home but where my experience was bad it was a lot better than the refugees'.”

Watford Observer: Alexandra in the UKAlexandra in the UK (Image: The Ahmadi Religion of Peace and Light)

She said she witnessed Ahmadi believers being badly beaten.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We assisted two British people who were detained in Turkey and are supporting their families.”

A petition has been launched for the 104 refugees to be allowed asylum in the EU.

The Watford Observer attempted to contact the The Republic of Türkiye Directorate of Communications but has not had a response.

Bulgarian media has reportedly claimed the refugees attempted to storm the border, causing it to be closed for two hours.