Dodging a Very Long Vacation in Dubai by Bruce Bawer


Matthew Hedges, a doctoral candidate at Durham University, was arrested in May on espionage charges while in the UAE to study its security policies. He spent five months in solitary confinement, and on November 21 he was sentenced to life in prison. Fortunately, enough people kicked up enough of a fuss to make it clear to UAE that keeping Hedges in the slammer could well cost the country more than it bargained for. So on Sunday, Hedges was granted what the UAE called "gracious clemency." He was freed shortly thereafter. None of this should cloud our recognition of the reality of the UAE. It's an autocratic theocracy masquerading as a part of the civilized free world.