Andargachew Tsege is approaching his 1,000th day on death row | Boris Johnson ‘should not leave Ethiopia’ without freeing condemned man, rights group says

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Andargachew Tsege is approaching his 1,000th day on death row | Boris Johnson ‘should not leave Ethiopia’ without freeing condemned man, rights group says

by Jon Sharman

Boris Johnson has visited Ethiopia as a father-of-three from London nears his 1,000th day on death row there, following his kidnapping by Ethiopian security forces.

Andargachew Tsege, known as Andy, has been a vocal critic of the Ethiopian government. He was granted political asylum in the UK in 1979 and has lived in Britain ever since, though he continued to advocate for democratic reform in his home country.

He was abducted in June 2014 while en route to Eritrea, and in July 2015 moved to the infamous Kality prison outside Addis Abiba, dubbed “Ethiopia’s gulag”. A death sentenced had been imposed on him in 2009, in his absence.

The rights group Reprieve, which has been representing Mr Tsege and his family, said on Thursday the Foreign Secretary “should not leave Ethiopia without Andy Tsege beside him on the plane”.

Mr Johnson was due to discuss regional security and prosperity on his visit, a Government announcement said.

Reprieve’s Maya Foa said: “Andy has endured 1000 days on death row for daring to criticise the Ethiopian Government, which kidnapped him in an international airport and rendered him to the country’s gulag.

“A failure to seek Andy’s return home would send a dangerous message that the UK is willing to tolerate the abuse of its citizens overseas, with no consequence for the Governments responsible.”

In an open letter to campaigners last August, Mr Johnson said: “I am aware of the suggestion that the UK Government should directly call for Mr Tsege’s release.

“As my predecessor has previously stated, Britain does not interfere in the legal systems of other countries by challenging convictions, any more than we would accept interference in our judicial system.

“We do, however, lobby strongly and consistently against the application of the death penalty, and against the carrying out of such sentences when they are imposed.

Source: The Independent  

4 Responses to Andargachew Tsege is approaching his 1,000th day on death row | Boris Johnson ‘should not leave Ethiopia’ without freeing condemned man, rights group says

  1. Andy shot at the wrong asshole, now he’s in deep s***.

    Luckily, there are no prisoners in death row in Ethiopia since the government does not enforce death sentences. A little over hundred prisoners are held under death sentences but they are unlikely to face the sentence executed.

    Although the country still has death penalty in the criminal law and courts sentence people to death for very serious crimes such as murder, treason, armed conspiracy, genocide, outrages against the constitution, it has not enforced the sentences for almost two decades in two cases in 1998 and 2007.

    Given this fact, the country appears to have unstated policy and established practice of not carrying out death sentences which makes it a de facto abolitionist. The fact that it commutes death sentences from time to time lends credence to this view.

    The Foreign Secretary know what he’s talking about when he said “we do … lobby … against the application of the death penalty . . .” Unlike what Reprieve demands he wants to “… leave Ethiopia without Andy.”

    The Foreign Secretary’s position “… not to interfere in the legal systems of (Ethiopia)” makes sense. Andy had been tried and sentenced in absentia under Ethiopian laws from which he could have appealed for a review of the convictions and reduced sentences. He had not.

    Now Reprieve and his family is demanding Andy’s release and return “home” which the Foreign Secretary does not seem to agree with and work for. I get it why he’s doing that.

    If a naturalized British national is tried and sentenced to death or life for advocating and actively participating in violence with intent to overthrow a government in his country of origin, is the British government to force his release simply because he is citizen? What kind of precedent will that create in a country where so many immigrants take citizenship every year? It’s like saying “do whatever crime you want and we’ll get you home safe”. That’s not how governments work.

    I say “Bravo” to the Foreign Secretary. What Ethiopia needs is talks on Mr regional security and prosperity” and not interference in its legal system.

    Shegitu Dadi
    March 17, 2017 at 7:26 pm
    Reply

  2. It is not legal one country interferes to an other one whether by force or either way.The guy, who is Andargachew Tsgie, is known as citizen of UK. He left Ethiopia long time ago. Lastly, he started recruiting bandits to ditablize the country. Finally, he was caught on the movement. He had no any business to take round on the boarder of Ethiopia. No one is fool to release him and play a game like chess. His place is the prison he chose. He should stay there!!! I know him while teen; he was the most dangerous person.

    Mulugeta Andargie
    March 17, 2017 at 8:05 pm
    Reply

  3. Foolish boy

    Almaz
    March 20, 2017 at 10:25 pm
    Reply

  4. It is his final place!!! Trust me!!! Dr. Bethany Nega Bonger remained!!!! We know each other in Finfinnee University!!!! Since 1966.

    Mulugeta Andargie
    March 22, 2017 at 8:40 pm
    Reply

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