Ethiopia refuses to allow a delegation of parliamentarians to visit Andargachew Tsege
Andy Tsege, who is the secretary-general of a banned Ethiopian opposition movement, was sentenced to death at a trial held in his absence in 2009. He was travelling from Dubai to Eritrea last June when he disappeared during a stopover in Yemen, in what campaigners regard as a politically motivated kidnapping. Weeks later, he emerged in detention in Ethiopia.
A delegation led by Jeremy Corbyn, Mr Tsege’s constituency MP, was to visit Ethiopia in a bid to secure his release. But the trip was abandoned after a meeting with Ethiopian ambassador Berhanu Kebede in London last week.
Mr Corbyn told The Independent: “We had made plans to go and see him next weekend and they said we would be refused admission to the detention facility.”
Lord Dholakia, the vice-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on Ethiopia, who was due to travel out with Mr Corbyn, said it was made clear that they would not be welcome. Mr Corbyn is demanding that the Ethiopian government allows Mr Tsege’s lawyer, Clive Stafford-Smith, the director of Reprieve, to visit him and will raise the issue in the Commons this week. The Ethiopian embassy in London has accused Mr Tsege – who came to Britain as a political refugee in 1979 – of being a member of a “terrorist organisation” which wants to “overthrow the legitimate government of Ethiopia”. Read more