Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter

Matthew (Matt) Hedges: A statement from the University of Exeter

Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter said: “We are all deeply saddened, shocked and concerned by the life sentence given to Matt Hedges today, following his detention and trial in the United Arab Emirates.

“The health and welfare of Matt and his family and friends now, through the forthcoming appeals  process, and beyond is our paramount concern, and we are committed to offering and providing every level of support, help and assistance we can through this inconceivably distressing and traumatic time for them.

“Matt was in the UAE to carry out legitimate academic research, and has an undoubted passion and concern for the Arab Gulf and its people. It is absolutely vital that academics the world over are free to conduct research without fear of interference or arrest.

“Exeter will continue to do whatever it can to ensure Matt and his family can return home as soon as possible, and calls upon the authorities to work actively towards securing his return.”

Date: 21 November 2018

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