Theresa May thanks Ethiopia for release of Briton from death row

A British national who was kidnapped and imprisoned in Ethiopia has been released from death row.

Prime Minister Theresa May has thanked her Ethiopian counterpart for the release of Ethiopia-born Andargachew Tsege, as well as other prisoners, during telephone talks covering a range of issues.

Mr Tsege was accused by the Ethiopian authorities of being a terrorist and was tried with others in his absence in 2009 before being sentenced to death.

The father-of-three, who fled Ethiopia in the 1970s and sought asylum in the UK in 1979, had been a prominent critic of the country’s ruling party.

In June 2014 Mr Tsege, who is in his 60s, was kidnapped in Yemen and rendered to the African country, where he has since been held in prison.

A spokesman for Mrs May said she had congratulated her Ethiopian counterpart on his appointment and said the UK “firmly supported his reform and reconciliation efforts”.

The spokesman added: “The Prime Minister thanked Prime Minister Ahmed for the release of prisoners including British national Andargachew Tsege.

“They discussed the importance of development assistance, including the support the UK provides to bolster education, economic reform, industrialisation, anti-corruption and job creation in Ethiopia.

“They also discussed how the two countries could deepen their trade links, and touched on how the UK’s expertise in infrastructure and financing could support Ethiopia’s economic development agenda.”

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