British Conservatives soft on UAE human rights violations


British Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May shakes hands with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of UAE member state Abu Dhabi in 2017

This photo shows British Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May shaking hands with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) member state Abu Dhabi in 2017.

The UAE participates in the bloody war by Saudi Arabia on the people of Yemen. There are UAE torture jails for imprisoned Yemenis. Like Saudi Arabia and other Saudi coalition states, eg Bahrain, the UAE wages its war on Yemen with, eg, British weapons.

By Ceren Sagir in Britain:

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Tories put relations with UAE above welfare of its citizens, says wife of jailed academic

THE British government is putting its relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before the welfare of one of its citizens, the wife of a jailed academic charged today.

Daniela Tejada condemned the Foreign Office over its handling of the case of British citizen Matthew Hedges, who has been locked up for life in the UAE over allegations of spying.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who met the UAE British ambassador today, said he had threatened the UAE with “serious diplomatic consequences” if Mr Hedges is not freed as there is “absolutely no evidence” to support the charge.

But Ms Tejada said Britain had “failed” to take a strong position from the start.

She said: “I was under the impression they were putting their interests with the UAE above a British citizen’s rightful freedom and his welfare. They were stepping on eggshells instead of taking a firm stance.

“I believe that they should have taken a firmer stance from the beginning, if not publicly then through their private representations.”

Ms Tejada added that she believes Britain should stop at nothing to free the “innocent” Mr Hedges, who was imprisoned on “completely fabricated” evidence.

Mr Hedges, a Middle Eastern studies specialist at Durham University, was arrested at Dubai Airport in May and has been held in solitary confinement since. His family claims his “mental and physical health seriously deteriorated” while in confinement.

A Foreign Office spokesman did not say what form any possible diplomatic consequences could take other than that a number of options are available.

Will the British Conservative government seriously consider the option of stopping to sell the UAE autocracy British weapons for the disastrous war in Yemen? And stopping to train UAE army officers in Britain? And stopping to train UAE torturers? I hope so, but I don’t count on it.

British government inaction ends in life sentence for PhD student in UAE: here.

UAE: call on Grand Prix drivers and fans to tweet support for jailed student Matthew Hedges: here.

UPDATE: Spy charges: UAE gives Matthew Hedges a presidential pardon. British academic, who was accused of spying on behalf of his government, to be freed as part of a national day amnesty: here.

Academics at New York University condemned the life sentence handed down to British academic Matthew Hedges by the United Arab Emirates for supposed espionage in an open letter to NYU President Andrew Hamilton. While Hedges has since been granted clemency following international outrage, his case underscores the contempt with which the UAE government—with which New York University has deep ties—views academic freedom: here.

9 thoughts on “British Conservatives soft on UAE human rights violations

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