00:57 GMT +314 December 2018
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    Matthew Hedges with wife

    British Academic Detained on Spying Charges in UAE Released on Bail - Reports

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    On Monday, UK citizen and doctoral student Matthew Hedges, who had been held in solitary confinement in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for five months on spying charges, was released on bail, according to reports.

    The 31-year-old student, who was apprehended at Dubai airport in May while trying to leave the country after a research trip for his studies at Durham University in the UK, will stand trial in Abu Dhabi "on charges of spying for a foreign country and jeopardizing the military, political and economic security of the UAE," UAE Attorney General Hamad al-Shamsi said in a statement earlier this month, Sputnik previously reported.

    The doctoral student was researching the UAE's foreign and internal security policies following the 2011 Arab Spring revolutions before he was detained at the Dubai airport.

    Now, Reuters and other outlets report, Hedges has been released on bail pending his next court appearance. He currently does not have a passport and cannot depart the UAE, however.

    Earlier this month, more than 500 academics in universities across five continents signed an open letter to the UAE calling for the release of Hedges, his wife, Daniela Tejada, wrote on Twitter.

    ​​Since his detention, Hedges has had two visits from UK Foreign Office officials and one visit from his wife, with whom he had spoken on the phone several times since his arrest, Sputnik previously reported.

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    detained student, solitary confinement, bail, spying, UAE, England
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