The Daily Telegraph

UAE shares intimate dossier ‘to discredit’ Briton jailed for spying

- By Patrick Sawer and Robert Mendick

THE United Arab Emirates has been accused of smearing a British academic it jailed for spying by circulatin­g a dossier of intimate informatio­n about him that included a psychiatri­c report and photograph­s of him in his cell.

Matthew Hedges, who was imprisoned for six months by the UAE, has condemned the document as a gross invasion of privacy.

The academic was arrested for spying for MI6 in May and sentenced to life in jail in November 2018. He was eventually released later that month under the terms of a presidenti­al pardon.

Mr Hedges has maintained that he was subjected to cruel and degrading treatment while in detention.

But, in what he claims to be an attempt to undermine his credibilit­y, the UAE has released a document containing personal details about him and his family. The dossier, being circulated to media outlets by the UAE embassy in London, was originally submitted to the UN committee against torture in June last year, after Mr Hedges gave evidence to the committee about his ordeal.

In the 19-page document, UAE officials claim that he was treated at all times with “respect and dignity” and was never subjected to “any instance of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

It includes CCTV footage of Mr Hedges in his windowless cell, meeting his doctor and making a phone call.

The dossier includes an image of him with his wife Daniela Tejada in July 2018, during the one visit she was allowed.

Mr Hedges told The Daily Telegraph the release of the dossier has caused him deep distress. “I had a panic attack when I saw those CCTV images. It brought me straight back.”

The UAE government said: “Mr Hedges’s well-financed and intensifyi­ng campaign and the escalation of his false claims … has persuaded the UAE to provide some balancing informatio­n to media.” The Foreign Office has insisted that the claim that Mr Hedges was an MI6 spy was “without foundation”.

 ?? ?? Matthew Hedges was sentenced to life in Nov 2018. He was released later that month after a presidenti­al pardon
Matthew Hedges was sentenced to life in Nov 2018. He was released later that month after a presidenti­al pardon

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