Cyber Ethiopia

Ethiopia – UK stands accused over extradition of Ethiopian opposition leader Andargachew Tsige

Andargachew Tsige, a British national, may face death penalty after extradition from Yemen.

By Martin Plaut, theguardian.com

The Foreign Office has been accused of failing to act to prevent the extradition to Ethiopia of an opposition leader facing the death penalty.

Andargachew Tsige, a British national, is secretary general of an exiled Ethiopian opposition movement, Ginbot 7. He was arrested at Sana’a airport on 23 June by the Yemeni security services while in transit between the United Arab Emirates and Eritrea.

“The British knew he was being held in Yemen for almost a week but they did nothing,” said Ephrem Madebo, a spokesman for Ginbot 7. “We are extremely worried about Mr Andargachew, because the Ethiopians kill at will.”

The Foreign Office, which called in the Yemeni ambassador earlier this week, said it was urgently seeking confirmation that Andargachew was in Ethiopia.

“If confirmed this would be deeply concerning given our consistent requests for information from the Yemeni authorities, the lack of any notification of his detention in contravention of the Vienna convention and our concerns about the death penalty that Mr Tsege could face in Ethiopia,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

It added: “The UK opposes the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle … We continue to call on all countries around the world that retain the death penalty to cease its use.”

Ginbot 7 is among the largest of Ethiopia’s exiled opposition movements. The party was founded by Berhanu Nega, who was elected mayor of Addis Ababa in 2005. Refusing to accept the result, the prime minister, Meles Zenawi, declared a state of emergency, which was followed by days of protest and clashes on the streets of the capital.

Berhanu Nega was jailed, and founded Ginbot 7 on his release. Accused of attempting to overthrow the Ethiopian government, he and Andargachew Tsige were sentenced to death in absentia. Ginbot 7 was declared a terrorist organisation. The party says it stands for the peaceful end to what it describes as the Ethiopian dictatorship.

Andargachew was travelling to Eritrea, which has clashed with Ethiopia since a border war between the two countries ended in June 2000.

The Eritrean authorities host a number of exiled Ethiopian movements, including some attempting to overthrow the Ethiopian government.

Ana Gomes, a Portuguese member of the European parliament who led the EU observer mission to the 2005 Ethiopian elections, has written to William Hague, calling on the UK foreign secrertary to intervene on Andargachew’s behalf, saying: “I urge you now to do the utmost to ensure the release and protection and his return to the United Kingdom as soon as possible.”

Source: The Guardian

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Also listen to VOA Amharic about Andargachew Tsige


 

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The then-TPLF-dominated regime in Ethiopia was the first in sub-Saharan Africa to actively engage in political censorship of the Internet .

Since May 2006, the most popular Ethiopian web sites (including CyberEthiopia) and several blogs have been blocked across the nation. The apparent objective was to prevent the dissemination of information that is critical of the regime.

Following the political protests which have swept the nation since November 2015, the regime has routinely shutdown the Internet and restricted access to Social Media (including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Viber) and indicated its keenness to control Social Media.

On 22nd June 2018, the new Prime Minister Dr Abye Ahmed's government reported that it had unblocked 264 websites including CyberEthiopia.com after 12 years of blockage as attested by the OONI’s thorough verifications of our website’s unblocking .




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