University of Exeter to join boycott of UAE following jailing of Matthew Hedges

This comes after the PhD researcher was jailed for life

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The University of Exeter joins Durham and Birmingham universities in a boycott of The United Arab Emirates, after lecturers voted unanimously to cut all academic ties.

Lecturers at the University of Exeter have also backed a motion for the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Steve Smith, to cut all business related ties and lobby for the release of the jailed British academic.

This comes after many academics and thousands of people have signed petitions for the safe release of Matthew Hedges, with his arrest and sentencing calling into question the safety of conducting research in the UAE.

Matthew Hedges, who studied his master's at Exeter, was sentenced to life imprisonment after being arrested on suspicion of spying for the British government. Emeriti officials say that Hedges was posing as an academic collecting data, while trying to seek sensitive information for his government.

The outcome for Matthew Hedges is unclear at this point, however universities and academics hope the boycott will help to support his case and lead to his safe return.