A British educational has been sentenced to life in jail within the United Arab Emirates on prices of spying for the UK authorities, in keeping with a consultant of the household.

Matthew Hedges, a 31-year-old scholar at Durham College who went to the nation to analysis his PhD thesis, was handed the sentence at an Abu Dhabi court docket in a listening to that lasted lower than 5 minutes, and with no lawyer current. 

Mr Hedges was detained in Might at Dubai airport as he was leaving the nation following a analysis journey, and held in solitary confinement for 5 months.

UAE lawyer common Hamad al-Shamsi stated Hedges was accused of “spying for a overseas nation, jeopardising the army, political and financial safety of the state”.

Hedges has denied the costs, and maintains that he was within the nation to analysis the affect of the Arab Spring on the UAE’s overseas coverage.

His spouse, Daniela Tejada has stated her husband has not obtained acceptable medical care and that his rights had been prevented from discussing his case with consular officers.

“Matt is a person of integrity and precept. He has a superb educational thoughts and an impeccable observe report,” she stated in an announcement final month. “He’s sort and caring and vastly beloved and revered. Please ship him dwelling.”

Overseas Secretary Jeremy Hunt stated beforehand the UK Authorities was “very nervous” by the case and he has personally spoken with the UAE overseas minister twice about it.

“We’re very involved to ensure there may be correct due course of, the court docket system is honest and that Matthew Hedges is handled correctly and humanely and that we get a simply consequence.” the overseas secretary stated in October.

Center East minister Alistair Burt additionally travelled to the UAE to intervene on his behalf.

Greater than 100 lecturers have signed a petition calling for Mr Hedges’s launch, and deriding his therapy by authorities as “degrading and inhumane.”

“Not solely is he an harmless man being held unjustly, but it surely additionally locations into query current and future educational ties between the UK and the UAE,” stated the petition, signed by lecturers from American, British and Spanish universities.


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