UAE ap­peals court sen­tences Matthew Hedges to life in prison

The Miracle - - Midle East -

Matthew Hedges, 31, sen­tenced to life for spy­ing and sup­ply­ing sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion to ex­ter­nal ac­tors, fam­ily says. A court in the United Arab Emi­rates has sen­tenced Bri­tish stu­dent Matthew Hedges to life in prison af­ter he was con­victed of spy­ing and sup­ply­ing sen­si­tive se­cu­rity in­for­ma­tion to ex­ter­nal ac­tors. Abu Dhabi’s Fed­eral Court of Ap­peal handed down the ver­dict on Wed­nes­day, a move de­scribed as deeply dis­ap­point­ing by Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May. “We can con­firm that he was sen­tenced to life in prison. The hear­ing lasted less than five min­utes, and his lawyer was not present,” Hedges’ fam­ily spokesper­son told AFP news agency. Hedges, a 31-year-old PhD stu­dent at Durham Uni­ver­sity, was ar­rested on May 5 at Dubai air­port af­ter a two-week re­search visit. He was re­search­ing the UAE’s for­eign and in­ter­nal se­cu­rity poli­cies af­ter the Arab Spring rev­o­lu­tions of 2011 when he was de­tained. Hedges was for­mally charged in Oc­to­ber with spy­ing on the Gulf state, where he has been held in soli­tary con­fine­ment for the past six months. “I am in com­plete shock and I don’t know what to do. Matthew is in­no­cent,” said Hedges wife, Daniela Te­jada, who was present in the court­room. ” The UAE au­thor­i­ties should feel ashamed for such an ob­vi­ous in­jus­tice,” she said in a state­ment, adding that her hus­band was shak­ing when he heard the ver­dict. “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.

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