The family of British academics convicted of spying in the United Arab Emirates has appealed to complaints, the country's ambassador…
The family of British academics convicted of spying in the United Arab Emirates has appealed to complaints, the country’s ambassador to Britain said.
Sulaiman Almazroui told a press conference in London Friday that his government was considering the appeal and would respond with time but he defended the process under which Matthew Hedges was convicted.
Hedges, a 31-year graduate student at Durham University, triggered a public challenge this week with the Gulf state accused of a misunderstanding of justice.
Almazroui said: “Matthew Hedges was not convicted after a five-minute trial trial, as some reported. In a month, three judges evaluated compelling evidence in three hearings.”
“They reached their conclusions after a complete and correct process. This was an extremely serious case. We live in a dangerous neighborhood and national security must be top priority.
“Hedge’s family has requested a complaint and the government is studying that request. UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt had a good conversation yesterday with our foreign minister.”
“As the United Kingdom, the UAE is a country of independent judiciary. The government does not dictate judgments the court. “
He stressed the close relations between Britain and the UAE and added:” Because of the strength of this relationship, we hope that a friendly solution can be reached. “
Tejada confirmed that a complaint had been lodged to the UAE government and added: “We will wait to see what’s happening.”
Traditionally, UAE gives forgiveness for detained criminals on the country’s national day, which falls next Thursday.
The claim for complaints may involve the Hedges family in some debts, but it can be seen as a price worth paying if there is an implicit understanding between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the US Government that a request will be followed by a forgiveness.
The Ambassador’s statement followed consultations in UAE overnight on Thursday with Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and a conversation described as “constructive” on the phone between Hunt and Zayed on Thursday.
The Foreign Ministry is increasingly optimistic that UAE, a prolonged British Alliance, wants to avoid a diplomatic confrontation with London or is in the same basket as Saudi Arabia, a country that suffers reputation as a result of the Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi being killed by Saudi State agents.
Hedge’s wife, Daniela Tejada, had said that she believed that the British government had expressed her interests over her husband’s freedom struggle. 1
9659002] She said she had talked to her husband on Thursday night and he had complained about feeling sick.
Hedges, originally from Exeter, was arrested in Dubai airport on May 5th. He says he is innocent and in the country who conducts research on the UAE’s security strategy for his doctoral thesis, but prosecutors claimed he acknowledged charges.
Tejada told BBC Breakfast that her conversation with the man had been carefully monitored so that there was a limit to what she could tell him about the efforts to secure his release.
“I tried to assure him and tell him that he had 10 times as much support as before,” said Tejada.
Hedges has been in a UAE prison for more than six months. He went to UAE to investigate his dissertation and was convicted in a court in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday in a hearing lasting less than five minutes without a lawyer.
Academics have said that Hedges may inadvertently put him at risk by his “sharp analysis” of the UAE’s shifting security policy. The country presents itself as a modernizing social liberal force in the Gulf, but the difference is suppressed.
Chris Davidson, a former Middle East politician and a colleague at Durham University, who helped to monitor Hedge’s research, said: “The overall taste [of his research] was actually sympathetic to the UAE – very objective, well-managed. to cause some difficulties. “
He added:” Everything I read would have been completely unusable for an intelligence agency. It was not classified. It was all public domain [information]. [There was] No suggestion that he may have been surreptitiously working for an intelligence agency at the same time.
“The UAE seems quite firm that they have difficult evidence. But about [Matthew]e-mails from gov.uk on their electronic devices are as far as they are concerned that can create a hard relationship with the British government. I know he was doing a FCO briefing a few weeks before this field work to shorten the new British ambassador to the UAE. But other academics have participated in these briefings over the years. It does not make them a spy and the UAE should know it. “