Andargachew Tsege

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 27th February 2017.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs), Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to ensure Andy Tsege's safety while in prison.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Ethiopian government are in no doubt over our concern for Mr Tsege and the priority we place upon his wellbeing. Our priorities are Mr Tsege's wellbeing, his access to legal representation, and to ensure that the death sentence is not carried out. In July 2015, as a result of extensive ministerial lobbying, Mr Tsege was moved from solitary detention by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) to a Federal prison. Over the course of the past two and a half years Mr Tsege has received 13 consular visits. The most recent visit occurred on 15 December. Our Ambassador visited Mr Tsege to check on his welfare, discuss his legal access and pass on messages from his family.

The Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Boris Johnson) has personally raised this case on numerous occasions with the Ethiopian government, most recently on 17 February with the Foreign Minister, Dr Workneh. The Secretary of State for International Development, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Witham (Priti Patel), raised the case with the Ethiopian Prime Minister during her visit to Addis Ababa last month. Our Ambassador is heavily engaged and takes every opportunity to raise Mr Tsege's case at the highest levels with the Ethiopian government.

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