The Speaker
Wednesday, 29 May 2024 – 22:57

Foreign Secretary talks to wife of Matthew Hedges, facing life in prison in the UAE

Ms. Daniela Tejada, whose Husband Matthew Hedges now faces life imprisonment in the UAE, met with Jeremy Hunt to discuss the Briton’s current situation.


Having returned from her Husbands’ sentencing, she spoke to the Foreign Secretary in London today.


Jeremy Hunt has expressed concern over the situation and has also met with UAE ambassador to discuss the fate of Mr. Hedges. The foreign secretary has said that he believes there is “absolutely no evidence” to hold the charges against Matthew Hedges.


He tweeted saying:


“Today I saw Matthew Hedges’ wife Daniela & UAE Ambassador. I’ve just had a constructive conversation with UAE FM Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed. I believe & trust he’s working hard to resolve the situation asap. We’ve a close partnership with UAE which will help us take things forward”


Despite this, when speaking to the BBC, Ms. Tejada expressed concern with the performance of the foreign office in aiding her Husband.


She has been in contact with the Foreign Office every week since her Spouses arrest and imprisonment more than six months ago.


She told the BBC:


“I was under the impression they were putting their interests with the UAE above a British citizen’s rightful freedom and welfare,”


“They just disregarded my requests, they said it wasn’t part of their job, it wasn’t part of their duty.”


Currently, her husband is in prison serving what at this point in time stands as life imprisonment in the United Arab Emirates.


The Foreign Office is working on resolving the situation.



The PhD student Matthew Hedges was arrested on 5th May this year and charged with spying for the UK government.


Mr. Hedges denies these charges but was sentenced to life imprisonment this month.


He spent the first five and a half months in solitary confinement until he was granted bail in October.


The 31-year-old was studying at Durham University and was visiting the UAE to do research for his thesis on the impact of the Arab Spring on security policies in the region.


The evidence presented against him court included a confession, which was written in a language that Hedges is not literate in as well as alleged “espionage material” on his laptop.


None of this has been corroborated by the UK government and as said above, the Foreign Secretary does not believe there is any evidence to uphold the charges.


Since his sentencing, his wife has been unable to talk to him.

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