BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:40 P.M.) – A British academic has been sentenced by a court in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to life in prison for ‘spying’, the Independent reported this afternoon.
Speaking to the family of Matthew Hedges, 31, the Independent reported that the UAE authorities arrested the British academic as he was preparing to fly out of the Dubai International Airport last May.
UAE attorney general Hamad al-Shamsi said his client was charged for “spying for a foreign country, jeopardizing the military, political and economic security of the state.”
While Hedges was charged for espionage by the UAE authorities, it is not clear who the Gulf nation was accusing him of spying for.
Prior to his arrest, Hedges was studying the Arab Spring and its affect on the the UAE’s foreign policy.
Great Britain is currently working with the United Arab Emirates to secure his freedom.