Matthew Hedges arrives in London
A plane carrying British academic Matthew Hedges has arrived at Heathrow Airport from Dubai early Tuesday morning after a months' long campaign for his release.
Matthew has received earlier Monday a pardon for a life sentence in the UAE in a case that courted controversy.
"I don't know where to begin with thanking people for securing my release," Hedges said in the statement.
"I have not seen or read much of what has been written over the past few days but Dani tells me the support has been incredible."
His wife Daniela Tejada and other members of Hedges' family also welcomed his return.
Hedges' family said that Hedges arrived "safely" to London on Tuesday, a day after his surprise presidential pardon.
"After almost seven months of detention, including six months in solitary confinement, British PhD researcher, Matthew Hedges, has returned safely back to London. He was welcomed by his wife Daniela and members of his family," his family said in a statement.
ICFUAE also welcomed the decision of the UAE authorities to pardon Matthew Hedges, saying that the Emirati authorities have been forced into this decision off the back of sustained public pressure.