Frantic efforts to secure Briton’s release in Ethiopia
From ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA – THE United Kingdom has received assurance the rights of its prominent citizen jailed in Ethiopia for his relentless criticism of the government will be upheld.
Andargachew Tsege has been in prison for about two years following his arrest by Yemeni security forces in collaboration with Ethiopian intelligence service members while in transit in Yemen Sana’a airport.
He has not been charged. Critics said his arrest is part of a ploy by government to silence him.
His ordeal topped the agenda when British Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, visited Ethiopia, where he has been given assurances Tsege will be given access to a lawyer.
This is the tenth visit by British envoys in a bid to secure Tsege’s release.
“I raised the case of Andargachew Tsege in my meeting with the Prime Minister (David Cameron) , making it clear that while progress has been made, with regular consular access now in place and a transfer to a federal prison, further steps are required,” said Hammond.
Cameron has also written to his Ethiopian counterpart, Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe, on two separate occasions.
Born in Ethiopia, Tsege immigrated to London in 1979 and acquired British citizenship.
He returned to his homeland in 2005 and has been intermittently detained for his outspokenness on Ethiopia’s human rights record. – CAJ News
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