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Ethiopia Ginbot 7 leader facing death and Britain opposes

An Ethiopian opposition leader, who was sentenced to death while in exile for plotting a coup, has been extradited from Yemen to Ethiopia, his group says.

Andargachew Tsege, who is also a British national, is secretary-general of the banned Ginbot 7 movement.

The Ethiopian government allegedly requested his extradition after he was arrested in Yemen last month.

European MEP Ana Gomes told the BBC the UK needed to use its political leverage to ensure his release.

The Ethiopian government has not commented on the alleged extradition.

‘Deep concerns’

US-based Ginbot 7 spokesman Ephrem Madebo told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme that Mr Andargachew had been on his way from the United Arab Emirates to Eritrea when he was detained during a stopover at Sanaa airport.

Mr Ephrem said that he had spoken to Mr Andargachew’s family who had been contacted by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Thursday.

British officials told the family that the Yemeni ambassador to the UK had informed them that Mr Andargachew had been handed over to Ethiopia, Mr Ephrem said.

In a statement the UK Foreign Office said it was aware that Mr Andargachew had been missing in Yemen since 24 June.

“Since then UK officials have pressed the Yemeni authorities at senior levels to establish his whereabouts, including meeting with the Yemeni ambassador in London this week,” a Foreign Office spokesman said in a statement.

“We are aware of reports that he may now be in Ethiopia and we are urgently seeking confirmation from the relevant authorities given our deep concerns about the case. We are continuing to provide consular assistance to his family.”

‘Major donor’

Ms Gomes, who led the European Union observer mission to Ethiopia during the 2005 elections, said she had written to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague about the case.

“If the British government is not complicit with this kidnapping and this rendition of Mr Andargachew Tsigue to the Ethiopian regime – [which] will obviously torture him, accuse him of all sorts of things and eventually kill him – then the British government has to get immediately the release of Mr Andargachew,” she told BBC Focus on Africa.

“If there is a country that is extremely influential in Ethiopia, it is Britain – it’s a major donor and it’s a major political backer of the regime in Ethiopia.”

Mr Ephrem said that the UK government should have intervened in the case earlier.

“The UK government looks like a collaborator because the UK government never acted,” he said, adding that it was ridiculous to consider Mr Andergachew a terrorist.

“To the Ethiopian government even bloggers are terrorists [and] journalists are terrorists,” he said.

Ginbot 7 (15 May) was named after the date of the 2005 elections, which were marred by protests over alleged fraud that led to the deaths of about 200 people.

In 2009, the year before the last elections, Mr Andergachew was among a group of Ginbot 7 leaders sentenced to death in absentia for planning to assassinate government officials; they denied the charges.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28167007

 

Ethiopia: Britain opposes death penalty of Ethiopian opposition leader 

The guardian and Geeska Afrika Online security reports. The Ethiopian opposition leader Andargachew Tsige, a doul British national and Ethiopian, is secretary general of an exiled Ethiopian opposition movement, Ginbot 7. He was arrested at Sana’a airport on 23 June by the Yemeni security services while in transit between the United Arab Emirates and Eritrea.

“The British knew he was being held in Yemen for almost a week but they did nothing,” said Ephrem Madebo, a spokesman for Ginbot 7. “We are extremely worried about Mr Andargachew, because the Ethiopians kill at will.”

The British Foreign Office, which called in the Yemeni ambassador earlier this week, said it was urgently seeking confirmation that Andargachew was in Ethiopia.

Andargachew Tsige, a British national, Will extreamly face death penalty after extradition from Yemen The British Foreign Office said in a statement, “If confirmed this would be deeply concerning given our consistent requests for information from the Yemeni authorities, the lack of any notification of his detention in contravention of the Vienna convention and our concerns about the death penalty that Mr Tsige could face in Ethiopia.

It added:“The UK opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle.Britain we continue to call on all countries around the world that retain the death penalty to cease its use.” Yemen and Ethiopia signed  two month ago a number of agreements and protocols of bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, higher education and standards and specifications.

The agreements and protocols co-signed by Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi and Ethiopian counterpart Tedros Adhanom at the concluding of the 5th meeting of the Yemeni-Ethiopian joint ministerial committee. The two foreign ministers hailed the common keenness on boosting cooperation between the two friendly countries in economic, investment and security issues.
The Ethiopian Ginbot 7 is among the largest of Ethiopia’s exiled opposition movements. The party was founded by Berhanu Nega, who was elected mayor of Addis Ababa in 2005. Refusing to accept the result, the prime minister, Meles Zenawi, declared a state of emergency, which was followed by days of protest and clashes on the streets of the capital.

Berhanu Nega was jailed, and founded Ginbot 7 on his release. Accused of attempting to overthrow the Ethiopian government, he and Andargachew Tsige were sentenced to death in absentia. Ginbot 7 was declared a terrorist organisation.  the peaceful end to what it describes as the Ethiopian dictatorship.

Andargachew was travelling to Eritrea, which has clashed with Ethiopia since a border war between the two countries ended in June 2000.

The Eritrean authorities host a number of exiled Ethiopian movements, including some attempting to overthrow the Ethiopian government.

Ana Gomes, a Portuguese member of the European parliament who led the EU observer mission to the 2005 Ethiopian elections, has written to William Hague, calling on the UK foreign secretary to intervene on Andargachew’s behalf, saying: “<strong>I urge you now to do the utmost to ensure his release and protection and his return to the United Kingdom as soon as possible.”

Sources: Geeska Afrika Online and The Guardian notes.

 

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This entry was posted on July 7, 2014 by in Home, News letters.
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