A British academic has been charged for spying in the United Arab Emirates, UAE authorities said on Monday, five months after he was arrested at the end of a study trip.
Matthew Hedges, a 31-year-old doctoral student at Durham University, was arrested on May 5 at Dubai airport after a two-week visit and has been kept in solitary confinement since then, his wife Daniela Tejada said last week.
"The Attorney General of United Arab Emirates ... confirmed today that Mr. Matthew Hedges, a British Citizen, has been charged with spying for and on behalf of a foreign State, jeopardizing the military, economy and political security of the UAE," the government said in a statement.
Matthew Hedges, a 31-year-old who was researching the UAE's foreign and internal security policies after the 2011 Arab Spring revolutions, was detained at Dubai airport on May 5.
Hedges had been posing as a researcher to cover his activities, attorney general Hamad al-Shamsi said, adding that the accusations were backed by "information taken from his electronic devices".
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told AFP last week that he was "very worried" about Hedges' fate.
The detainee's wife Daniela Tejada, who has visited him once and spoken to him on the phone several times, said he was expected to appear in court on October 24.
Her husband, held in solitary confinement, was "a man of integrity and principle. He has a brilliant academic mind... He is kind and caring and greatly loved and respected. Please send him home."
Tejada said last week that his research involved only open resources.
"He's not disclosed anything... classified or confidential," she said, adding that Hedges had lived in the UAE for "several years" before he returned to Britain in 2015.
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