A British academic, falsely accused of spying and tortured while incarcerated in the United Arab Emirates, is calling on the government to step in and intervene in The Daily Telegraph’s sale. 

The editorial independence of The Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers could be in danger as a result of the planned sale to an investment fund led by Abu Dhabi, according to Matthew Hedges, who was falsely accused of working for MI6.

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Who is Matthew Hedges?

Matthew Hedges was a British academic. He warned that the proposed sale to an investment fund led by Abu Dhabi would put The Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers’ independence in jeopardy, accusing them of working for MI6.

Hedges, who was arrested and given a life sentence in the United Arab Emirates for spying, pleaded with the government to postpone the proposed agreement. He declared that the goal of the UAE was to increase its “political leverage and influence” and issued a dire warning to the Telegraph titles regarding their editorial independence.

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In a letter to the Telegraph, he stated: “As a victim of torture at the hands of the United Arab Emirates, simply for undertaking legitimate academic research, I personally attest to the UAE’s disregard for human rights.”

The concerns regarding press freedom have been raised by the persistent pressure on the government to stop Emirati-backed investors from purchasing the 168-year-old Telegraph.

As per media reports, Jeremy Hunt and Rishi Sunak are expected to meet a senior Abu Dhabi representative at today’s Global Investment Summit in London.

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This week in Dubai, Sunak is scheduled to meet with a significant individual connected to the takeover bid at the Cop28 climate change conference. The Emirati company funding the Telegraph bid is being supervised by Sultan Al-Jaber, chairman of International Media Investments (IMI) and president of this year’s Cop summit.