Defending the Line on Academic Freedom

Posted April 20, 2021

A piece by SAR Executive Director Robert Quinn for Modern Language Association (MLA) Profession.

On 21 November 2018, Daniela Tejada, twenty-seven years old, watched, shocked, in an Abu Dhabi courtroom as her husband, Matthew Hedges, thirty-one years old and a PhD candidate at the University of Durham, was sentenced to life imprisonment (Parveen and Wintour; Rawlison). Hedges, who at that point had been in prison in the United Arab Emirates for more than six months, had gone to the country to research his thesis on United Arab Emirates security policy in the wake of the Arab Spring. That ended with his arrest and sentencing, which reportedly lasted less than five minutes, with no lawyer present.

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