Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 30th November 2005.

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Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands Conservative, Hammersmith and Fulham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreignand Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Ethiopian Government on the imprisonment of opposition politicians.

Photo of Ian Pearson Ian Pearson Minister of State (Trade), Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Trade), Department of Trade and Industry

My noble Friend, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Africa (Lord Triesman of Tottenham) summoned the Ethiopian Charge" d'Affaires on 1 November to register our concerns about the situation in Ethiopia, including the issue of detainees. On 6 November, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development also raised the issue when he spoke to Prime Minister Meles. Also on 6 November, in our capacity as EU presidency, we issued a statement on the situation in Ethiopia, which included reference to our concerns regarding detainees. Our ambassador in Ethiopia has also raised our concerns with Prime Minister Meles, the Ethiopian Foreign Minister and other Government Ministers.

We continue to call for the immediate release of all political detainees, for those individuals not charged under due process to be released immediately, and for access to those detained for their families, legal counsel and representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross or other appropriate representatives of the international community.

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