Brit student Matthew Hedges CHARGED with spying on United Arab Emirates as desperate wife says his health is failing in solitary confinement

Matthew Hedges, 31, from Exeter, was arrested in Dubai airport after flying into the Arab state to interview sources on its foreign policy and security.

The PhD student at Durham University was taken into custody on May 5 and has now been charged.

His wife Daniela Tejada, 27, said she was concerned about his mental health and rubbished reports claiming he was a spy.

Daniela said he will go on trial for spying and will appear in court next week, but has not received official confirmation.

In a statement she said: "I have not been sent any official indication from the UAE nor the FCO (Foreign Office) that Matt was taken to court today.

"As his wife I have been informed that his trial is going to resume on Wednesday October 24.

"I have not received an official translation of the statement from the UAE Attorney General apparently published today.

"What I can confirm is that my husband Matt has not received appropriate medical care and attention, especially in regard to his mental health.

"Matt has been kept in solitary confinement for over five months.

"Matt does not speak Arabic and is therefore u

nable to communicate fully with the court-appointed lawyer, who he has only met once, at his court hearing last week.

Matt was in the UAE to carry out academic research for his PhD.

"Since he was detained on May 5 2018 he has only ever been granted two consular visits which is in direct violation of his rights.

"Matt is a man of integrity and principle. He has a brilliant academic mind and an impeccable track record.

"He is kind and caring and greatly loved and respected. Please send him home."

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is understood to have personally raised Mr Hedges' case with his UAE counterpart.

British officials have visited Mr Hedges twice, although he is said to have been prevented from discussing his case with them.

According to a profile on the Durham University website, Mr Hedges' research includes Middle Eastern politics, the changing nature of war, civil-military relations and tribalism.



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