Calls for May to help Brit jailed in Ethiopia – Sky News

by Zelalem

There are calls for the Prime Minister to intervene in the case of a British man who is in prison in Ethiopia after the Foreign Office admitted there were concerns for his safety.

Andy Tsege was illegally seized while at an international airport in Yemen and taken to Ethiopia, where he had already been tried and found guilty of treason in his absence.

He was born Ethiopia but as an outspoken critic of the government he was granted asylum and British citizenship 30 years ago.

He has now been detained for more than two years, but despite the controversial manner of his conviction and imprisonment, the British government has never demanded his release.

Mr Tsege's partner Yemi Hailemariam says she has been 'termed a terrorist'
Image Caption:
Mr Tsege’s partner Yemi Hailemariam and his family say they are increasingly worried

The British embassy in Addis Ababa has provided some consular assistance, but Mr Tsege’s family say not enough has been done to help him.

Last weekend the Foreign Office contacted his partner Yemi Hailemariam to say they had received information his life may be in danger.

Four days later, British officials have still not secured access to him to check on his well-being.

The human rights group Reprieve have written to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to express its concern.

“This situation is extremely troubling – it is not overstating matters to say that there is no evidence that Andy is still alive,” it wrote.

Campaigners have called for the release of the Briton held in Ethiopia
Image Caption:
Campaigners are demanding Mr Tsege’s release

Its director Maya Foa said it was proof the approach taken by British officials was not working, and that the situation needed to be escalated with the involvement of Theresa May.

The Foreign Office told Sky News: “(We) are working hard to make sure his welfare is protected.

“After being notified of an incident in the prison in Ethiopia, our Ambassador immediately contacted the relevant authorities to request action to ensure his health and safety.”

But Mr Tsege has not been seen by British officials since August, and his family say they are increasingly worried about his condition.

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