Former UAE detainee demands accountability
British academic Matthew Hedges, who was held for seven months in UAE jails over spying charges and subsequently pardoned after pressure from the British government, demanded that UAE authorities be held accountable for his ordeal.
In a seminar hosted by the American Society of International Law (ASIL) in Washington, Hedges called on countries to re-examine their ties with authoritarian governments, including the UAE.
"I'm not going to let my experience and my prosecution stand," Hedges said.
"I've instructed a lawyer to clear my name and hold the UAE accountable for the actions they took in my detention and sentencing," he added.
Hedges said getting the Emirati government to admit to wrongdoing in his case would be the first step.
"It's obviously something that is going to be very difficult to achieve, but that's very important to make them realise and understand that the reactions and decisions and behaviours they undertook - it was illegal and it was unjustified," he told Middle East Eye.