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British university 'concerned' over student's spying arrest in UAE

Europe
11.10.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
London (dpa) - A British university said it was "seriously concerned" on Thursday by the detention on spying charges of a political researcher reportedly held in solitary confinement for five months in the United Arab Emirates.

PhD student Matt Hedges, 31, was detained at Dubai airport in May and held in an undisclosed location. He was allowed only two visits from consular officials and two from relatives, his wife told The Times.

"We are seriously concerned about Matt‘s welfare and well-being and we remain in close contact with his family," Stuart Corbridge, the vice-chancellor of Durham University, said in statement.

The university has raised its concerns with British diplomats and the UAE ambassador to Britain. It is giving "full assistance to efforts to bring Matt home safely and swiftly," Corbridge said.

Hedges was researching the impact of the Arab Spring on the UAE‘s foreign policy and security strategy, The Times said.

He visited the country "exclusively for academic research purposes," his wife, Daniela Tejada, told the newspaper.

"We have been patient and done everything that has been advised, supposedly in Matt‘s best interest, but we can no longer go on like this," Tejeda was quoted as saying.

"His rights are violated on a daily basis and I am shocked that more has not been done to get him out," she said.

A British government spokesperson said Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt had "personally raised [Hedges‘] case with his Emirati counterpart."

"We are assisting his family and remain in close contact with the local authorities," the spokesperson said.

 

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