Spying: UAE Sentences British Student, Matthew Hedges To Life Jail
A United Arab Emirates court sentenced British student Matthew Hedges to life in jail on Wednesday after convicting him of spying, a family spokesperson said.
“We can confirm that he was sentenced to life in prison,” the spokesperson told AFP.
“The hearing lasted less than five minutes, and his lawyer was not present.”
Hedges, a 31-year-old PhD student, was researching the UAE’s foreign and internal security policies after the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011 when he was detained at Dubai airport on May 5.
Degrading and inhumane’
A family spokeswoman said he had been in the country to interview sources about the country’s foreign policy and security strategy.
In their letter, the 123 academics said the case raised concerns for the safety of colleagues carrying out legitimate research.
It also said that they believed Mr Hedges’ detention was “degrading and inhumane”.
The letter said: “Matthew’s physical and mental health have deteriorated.