June 2016 – Andargachew Tsege

June 2016 – Andargachew Tsege

Thank you for contacting me about the detention of Andargachew Tsege.

It is deeply concerning that British national Andargachew Tsege remains in detention and that the legal process has made little progress. The Foreign Secretary has made clear to the Ethiopian Government that their continued failure to grant the UK Government’s basic requests was unacceptable and the lack of progress risked undermining the UK’s bilateral relationship with Ethiopia.

I am encouraged by the fact that extensive Ministerial lobbying resulted in Mr Tsege’s transfer to a normal federal prison in July and frequent consular access. However, the Government remains concerned about the process by which Mr Tsege was detained and his ongoing lack of access to legal counsel. Mr Tsege must have access to a legal process through which he can challenge his detention.

It is vital that due legal process is followed and the death sentence imposed in absentia will not be carried out. The UK opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle and the Government continues to call on all countries around the world that retain the death penalty to cease its use.