Matthew Hedges’ spouse urges UAE to acknowledge ‘misunderstanding’


Amid indicators that Britain and the UAE are on the lookout for a method out of the diplomatic conundrum, Daniela Tejada informed CNN’s “Hala Gorani Tonight” program Thursday that “the UAE ought to have the sensibility and the humanity to acknowledge that it has been a misunderstanding and that Matt has paid for somebody’s lack of judgment.”

Matthew Hedges, 31, a specialist in Center Japanese research at Durham College in England, was arrested by UAE officers at Dubai Worldwide Airport in Might. He was held in solitary confinement for nearly six months earlier than being launched on bail final month. Hedges and his spouse have repeatedly denied the allegations of spying, however prosecutors insist the British educational confessed.

In her first TV interview since her husband’s sentencing Wednesday, Tejada stated, “It is not unprecedented that governments — in authoritarian regimes significantly — misread analysis as espionage work or as a menace.”

She continued, “Matt, sadly, is the primary particular person to endure such a travesty within the UAE as a Western educational, nevertheless it occurs very incessantly in different nations within the Gulf and it occurs to Emirati teachers.”

Daniela Tejada says her husband, Matthew Hedges, is innocent of spying charges in the UAE.

Tejada’s remarks got here shortly after her first assembly with UK Overseas Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Thursday. She had earlier accused the Overseas Workplace of failing her husband by placing ties with the UAE above the liberty of British residents.

“I want that my considerations had been taken extra significantly from day one. … However I am optimistic that at the least now that the Overseas Workplace (is) taking a firmer stance,” Tejada stated.

After the assembly, Hunt tweeted an replace to the diplomatic spat, saying he had “simply had a constructive dialog with the UAE FM Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed.”

“I consider & belief he is working onerous to resolve the scenario asap,” he added.

Life interrupted

Hours earlier, the UAE signaled hope for Hedges and his household in a press release that careworn the significance of relations with the UK.

Its Ministry of Overseas Affairs and Worldwide Cooperation stated by way of state-run information company WAM that Hedges can enchantment the court docket resolution inside 30 days and that households “even have the correct to enchantment for Presidential Clemency on behalf of convicted kinfolk.”

It added: “The UAE is set to guard its essential strategic relationship with a key ally. Officers from each nations have mentioned the matter usually over latest months. Each side hope to seek out an amicable answer to the Matthew Hedges case.”

West's main Arab allies are testing the limits of its patience

In response, Tejada informed CNN, “I hope they certainly attain an amicable answer and that answer is to carry Matt again residence. I cannot relaxation till I’ve him again and secure and residential with me.”

The UAE reiterated that Hedges had been “handled pretty and in line with the structure,” with entry to medical and psychological care, translators and British Consulate officers.

However Tejada refuted these assertions.

“I do not belief the UAE judicial system. The best way the case has been dealt with has been very regarding and in opposition to all worldwide requirements regardless of what the UAE insist on,” she stated. “Opposite to their statements for instance, he didn’t have medical and psychiatric care all through.”

Tejada stated Hedges was solely permitted three visits from British Consulate officers — the primary of which got here after six weeks of detention.

“He didn’t have medical and psychiatric assist,” she added. “He didn’t have entry to authorized counsel all through the interrogation course of and the months that adopted. … He didn’t even know his lawyer’s title till three or 4 days in the past.”

Tejada says she is hoping her husband will be home in January for their second wedding anniversary.

Tejada stated she doesn’t know her husband’s whereabouts and has not been allowed to talk to him because the court docket ruling.

“It’s extremely powerful to simply take into consideration what may be going by his head. The phobia that he should be feeling and simply the sheer unhappiness that the nation that he thought-about to be his second residence — since he lived there for therefore a few years — has paid him again with such mistreatment and injustice,” she stated.

In a determined try to uncover any misunderstanding there might have been with the UAE, Tejada stated she combed by her husband’s emails courting again to 2013 however failed to seek out something which may implicate him.

As a substitute, she insisted he’s harmless and desperately hopes he will probably be freed earlier than the vacations and again for his or her second marriage ceremony anniversary in January.

“I simply want that the individuals who have determined to take his destiny into their arms may see that he is not only a man on his personal,” Tejada pleaded.

“He is a person with a household and he is a person with a younger spouse who loves him, who he has plans to have youngsters (with), and a canine and a home within the countryside, and a person who means no hurt,” she stated. “I by no means meant any hurt once I went out to the press. I simply need him again.”

CNN’s Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

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