Matthew Hedges Sentenced To Life In Prison In UAE For Spying | Politics
A British PhD student at Durham University in England has been sentenced to life in prison for spying in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), family spokeswoman has said.
Matthew Hedges, 31, and a specialist in Middle Eastern studies, had been arrested on May 5 at Dubai airport after a research trip. He was held in solitary confinement for six months after being released on bail last month.
A court in the UAE has now sentenced Hedges to life in prison after declaring him guilty of “spying for or on behalf of” the UK government and providing “sensitive security information to external actors”.
Hedges’ family spokeswoman has stated: “We can confirm that he was sentenced to life in prison. The hearing lasted less than five minutes in which he had no legal representation”.
His wife, Daniela Tejada, 27, who was present in the courtroom has said: “I am in complete shock and I don’t know what to do. Matthew is innocent. The Foreign Office know this and have made it clear to the UAE authorities that Matthew is not a spy for them”.
“The UAE authorities should feel ashamed for such an obvious injustice. I am very scared for Matt. I don’t know where they are taking him or what will happen now. Our nightmare has gotten even worse”, Tejada added.
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