Family of Andargachew Tsige to deliver petition to British PM


Andargachew with one of his daughters

ESAT News (November 29, 2016)

The family of Andargachew Tsige will deliver a 24,000-strong petition to the Downing Street, calling on the Prime Minister to seek his return from Ethiopia.

“Today, Mr Tsege’s partner and three children – who have not been able to speak to him since December 2014 – will deliver a petition of 24,000 signatures to Downing Street, calling on the Prime Minister to seek his return from Ethiopia,” Reprieve, an international human rights organization campaigning for the release Tsige said on Tuesday.

The Ethiopian born British man, Andargachew ‘Andy’ Tsege, is held under a sentence of death in Ethiopia, after he was kidnapped and rendered to the country in 2014. Mr. Tsege is a well-known critic of the Ethiopian ruling party, and he was sentenced to death in absentia in 2009 while he was living in London.

Reprieve said celebrities including Sara Pascoe will today join the family of a kidnapped British man, and hand in a 24,000-strong Downing Street petition calling on the Prime Minister to seek his release.

Earlier this month,  it emerged the Foreign Office had recently lost consular contact with him, and that he was ‘in fear for his life,’ according to Reprieve.

“The Government has so far declined to request Mr Tsege’s release, instead calling for him to receive legal representation – something which, to date, has not happened. Last month it emerged that the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, had raised the issue of legal access three times with his counterpart since taking office, with no result,” the statement from Reprieve said.

Human rights organization Reprieve and several MPs have voiced concerns with the Government’s approach, raising fears that Mr Tsege faces no prospect of due process in Ethiopia.

“Andy Tsege’s unlawful detention under sentence of death is nothing short of a disgrace. It’s been two years since Andy’s family in London have been able to speak to him, and they are heartbroken at the thought of another Christmas without him. Andy’s in absentia death sentence, his kidnap and rendition to Ethiopia, and his continued detention amount to a series of grave abuses against a British citizen. Now more than ever, Theresa May must urgently request Andy’s return home to the UK,”  Maya Foa, a director at Reprieve said.