Andargachew Tsege

On 23 June 2014 Mr. Andargachew Tsege, a prominent figure in Ethiopian politics who is a UK citizen, was travelling from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to Asmara, Eritrea, on his British passport. The journey involved a brief transit through Sana’a International Airport, Yemen, and while on an internal airport bus to his connecting flight, he was abducted by what are believed to have been Yemeni intelligence officers, acting on the orders of the Ethiopian authorities.

His whereabouts remained unknown for a full two weeks after this abduction until the Ethiopian government confirmed that it had transferred Mr Tsege from Yemen to Ethiopia upon his abduction on 23 June. He has remained in incommunicado detention at unknown location in Ethiopia ever since. Despite repeated efforts to see him the UK Ambassador was granted access to Mr Tsege for the first time on 11 August 2014, over 50 days after his abduction, when he was brought to police headquarters in Addis Ababa. Security officials were present at all times, and he was thus unable to speak freely. Mr Tsege gave details of his abduction and said that, apart from Ethiopian intelligence officials, the Ambassador was the first person he had seen since 23 June. He had no idea of the charges against him or what the Ethiopian authorities intended to do with him. He had not had access to a lawyer or to independent medical treatment. Since then he has had been allowed one more monitored visit by the Ambassador and one restricted phone call to his wife and three children in London.

There are grave concerns  over Mr Tsege’s safety, welfare and treatment. He was previously detained and assaulted in custody in Ethiopia in 2005, and in 2009 and in 2012 he was tried in absentia under an anti-terrorism proclamation, in trials that did not follow due process. He was sentenced to death in the first trial and to life imprisonment in the second.

On 2 February 2015 REDRESS together with fellow human rights organisation Reprieve submitted a complaint on behalf of Mr Tsege and his family including a request for provisional measures. The Commission has been urged to call on Ethiopia to:

Born in Ethiopia, Mr Tsege is a well-known and respected critic of the Ethiopian government. In recent years has spoken about the current regime's poor human rights record in front of the US Congress and the EU's Committee on Human Rights. In 1979, he was granted asylum in the UK after flying the repression of the Derg’s regime.


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