23 February 2024

High Court civil claims against those responsible for detaining and torturing Matthew Hedges and Ali Issa Ahmad in the UAE have today been brought to an end following agreement between the parties on the basis that each party will pay their own costs. Matthew Hedges and Ali Issa Ahmad have taken this step in consideration of the United Kingdom’s domestic law on foreign official immunity in civil proceedings, which the Emirati officials concerned invoked in order to prevent the Court considering their actions. Mr Hedges and Mr Ahmad will however continue their fight for legal accountability for the false imprisonment and torture they suffered.

Speaking this evening, Mr Hedges said: “It is bitterly disappointing that, rather than confront what was done to us, the defendants asserted immunity. We are however encouraged that criminal proceedings relating to the torture that was inflicted upon us are ongoing and we hope that justice will finally be done.”

Mr Ahmad added: “I have lived with the torture I suffered each day. I am more determined than ever to get justice. Those who did this to me can hide behind immunity for now, but this will not stop them being pursued by the criminal courts.”

The above was revised on 26 February 2024.

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