UAE Considers Clemency for British Student Accused of Spying

Authorities in the United Arab Emirates say they are considering a clemency request for Matthew Hedges, a British student sentenced to life in prison earlier this week on espionage charges. The UAE ambassador to the UK, Sulaiman Hamid Almazroui, announced Friday that his government is considering a clemency request filed by Hedges’ family. But he stressed that the charges against Hedges, 31, are “an extremely serious case” and that Hedges had been convicted on “compelling evidence.” “Matthew Hedges was not convicted after a five-minute show trial, as some have reported,” Almazroui said. Daniela Tejada, Hedges’ wife, told Reuters that she will “wait to see what happens” with the clemency request but expressed doubts about the fairness of his trial. “Matt was held in an undisclosed location in solitary confinement for over five months, with no charge, no lawyer and very limited consular access,” she said. Hedges, a PhD student at Durham University, was arrested at Dubai Airport on May 5 after a research trip.