May must act on Briton detained in Ethiopia, say campaigners

By agency reporter
June 26, 2017

Friday 13 June 2017 marked three years since British father Andy Tsege was first illegally kidnapped from an international airport and rendered to Ethiopia’s death row. His partner, Yemi Hailemariam, has written to the Prime Minister asking her to negotiate his return home to her and their three children Helawit (17) Yilak and Menabe (both 10) in London.

The children have not spoken to their father since December 2014, six months after he was abducted on 23 June 2014. Andy Tsege is a democracy activist and political opponent of Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and was convicted of trumped-up charges in his absence in 2009 while living in London with his family, says the human rights organisation Reprieve.(

In her letter, Ms Hailemariam writes about their children, saying “I am still at a loss about how to explain to them why their dad can’t come home. How can I tell them that their own country, their own Prime Minister has not called for his return? Instead of fighting the Ethiopian government on this together with you, I am still stuck fighting for the UK government to do the right thing.”

Yemi Hailemariam, who stood against Theresa May in her Maidenhead constituency during the recent general election in order to bring Andy Tsege's case to her attention, also asks the Prime Minister to meet with her so she can explain his desperate situation.

Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve, said “Theresa May needs show she has the strength to stand up to the Ethiopian Prime Minister and negotiate Andy’s return home to his family. Three years is already too long for Helawit, Yilak and Menabe to have been without their father. There is no excuse for the Prime Minister abandoning one of her citizens. At the very least she owes Yemi an hour of her time to explain why there has been no progress in Andy’s case and what she intends to do about it.”

* Read Yemi Hailemariam's letter here

* Reprieve


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