Detention of Andargachew Tsege and the Reprieve Campaign November 2016

Thank you for contacting me recently regarding the detention of Andargachew Tsege in Ethiopia [and the related campaign by Reprieve].

I share your grave concern about Mr Tsege's imprisonment, particularly given that he has been detained for over two years with no legal process or access to a lawyer, and that he was sentenced to death in absentia. I oppose the death penalty in all circumstances, and I have been deeply concerned by reports of Mr Tsege's welfare.

The UK Government has raised Mr Tsege's case with the Ethiopian Government on a number of occasions and it was encouraging that the Prime Minister of Ethiopia gave an assurance in June 2016 that Mr Tsege would be allowed access to independent legal advice. However, it is very disappointing to learn that Mr Tsege is still being denied this.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) must continue to raise this case with the Ethiopian Government at the highest levels and press for Mr Tsege to be given access to legal representation. 

The Opposition has pressed the UK Government on Mr Tsege's case on a number of occasions. The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee has also committed to monitoring Mr Tsege's case and reviewing the FCO's contribution and progress on this matter. 

I hope that the Ethiopian Government will listen to the serious concerns that have been raised, and I can assure you that I will continue to follow Mr Tsege's case closely. 

Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.