UAE claims detained British ‘spy’ treated well

British Foreign Office ‘deeply concerned’ about wellbeing of Hedges, PhD student arrested at Dubai airport in May accused of espionage.

DUBAI - The United Arab Emirates said Wednesday a British man charged with spying in the Gulf country is being treated well and provided with healthcare, despite concerns about his welfare.

The British Foreign Office said last week it was "deeply concerned" about the wellbeing of Matthew Hedges, a PhD student who was arrested at Dubai airport on May 5.

The UAE foreign ministry said a review of Hedges's welfare was carried out amid reports he had been mistreated and denied access to staff from his country's embassy.

"Since his arrest, Mr Hedges has been provided with constant medical and psychological care," it said in a statement carried by state-run WAM news agency.

"Mr Hedges' family members and embassy staff were given access to him on several occasions in accordance with UAE laws and regulations."

The 31-year-old, who stands accused of "spying for a foreign country", had been researching the UAE's foreign and internal security policies after the 2011 Arab Spring revolutions.

The UAE attorney general alleged Hedges had been posing as a researcher to cover his activities, and said the case had been backed by "information taken from his electronic devices".