Western Daily Press

Academic sues UAE officials claiming he was tortured

- JESS GLASS news@westerndai­lypress.co.uk

ABRITISH academic has filed a High Court case against senior United Arab Emirates security and intelligen­ce officials, claiming he was tortured after being accused of spying.

Matthew Hedges was detained in Abu Dhabi between May and November 2018 after being accused of working for MI6.

Mr Hedges has previously described how he was questioned for up to 15 hours a day and forced to wear ankle cuffs during his ordeal.

He has also said he faced sleepless nights, PTSD and was reliant on a cocktail of drugs that were fed to him in jail.

The academic, originally from Exeter, was sentenced to life imprisonme­nt but was pardoned by the nation’s president days later.

In papers filed at the High Court in London, Mr Hedges is claiming damages against four senior security and intelligen­ce officials for assault, false imprisonme­nt and psychiatri­c injury.

Mr Hedges has brought the case against Abu Dhabi’s head of State Security Public Prosecutio­n at the time Saqr Saif Al Naqbi and the commander in chief of the emirate’s police force Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi.

Inspector General in the Ministry of the Interior Major General Ahmed Naser Ahmed Alrais Al Raisi, and senior UAE intelligen­ce official Ali Mohammed Hamad Hammad Al Shamsi are also defendants in the claim.

According to court documents, Mr Hedges is expecting to recover between £200,000 and £350,000 in damages.

Mr Hedges said: “On May 5, 2018, I was detained and tortured in the

UAE. Three years later, I am still waiting for the truth and justice.

“The UAE authoritie­s have refused to answer the complaint that was submitted to them through the UK

Foreign Office.

“It is clear they have no interest in finding out who was responsibl­e for my abuse.

“This total lack of redress has prolonged my trauma and made it very difficult to move on with my life.”

He added: “I hope it will ensure that what happened to me should never be allowed to happen again.”

It is clear they have no interest in finding out who was responsibl­e for my abuse MATTHEW HEDGES

 ??  ?? Matthew Hedges pictured with his wife Daniela Tejada
several years ago
Matthew Hedges pictured with his wife Daniela Tejada several years ago
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