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Matthew Hedges has been pardoned by the UAE with immediate effect

He was sentenced to life five days ago


Durham PhD student Matthew Hedges has been pardoned with immediate effect by the UAE. He was previously given a life sentence, accused of spying on behalf of the British government.

It was announced at a press conference in Abu Dhabi. It has been suggested that this follows Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt's intervention. Hunt had claimed to have had a "constructive" conversation with the UAE Foreign Minister on Sunday.

This follows six months after Hedges's initial arrest. He has been kept in solitary confinement and only last week, received a life sentence.

During this time, several universities severed ties with the UAE. His wife launched a public campaign to draw attention to her husband's treatment. An online petition was started, amassing over 200,000 signatures and creating a wave of support around Hedges's case.