The Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW), a human rights and peace organization, based in the United States, expresses its grave concerns regarding the abduction and detention of Andargachew Tsige, Secretary General of Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy. Mr. Tsege, who has a British citizenship, was arrested by Yemeni security forces while he was in transit at Sana’a International Airport on June 23, 2014. It is now reported that the Yemeni government extradited him to Ethiopia and he is detained by the Ethiopian government. We are concerned about the safety of Andargachew Tsege because it is well documented by international human rights groups and the United States Department of State that human rights activists, journalists and political opposition group members face threats, torture and extra- judicial killings by the regime in Ethiopia.
Mr. Andargachew Tsege is a well-known pro-democracy and human rights activist. He was imprisoned in Ethiopia for his political activities during the 2005 general elections and has escaped assassination attempts. Mr Tsege has been convicted and sentenced to death in absentia by the Ethiopian government. Yemen has, therefore, violated its international legal obligations by extraditing Mr. Andargachew Tsege who would likely face torture and even death by the Ethiopian government. If such blatant disregard for international law that was committed by the Yemeni government is not curtailed immediately, it will give a green light to all dictators around the world to kidnap dissidents and those who speak out for human rights at will anytime and anywhere.
Mr. Tsege is a naturalized British citizen. His wife and children, residing in London, are British citizens. We, therefore, urge the British government to do everything in its power to protect the life of its citizen and demand the Ethiopian government to release Andargachew Tsige immediately. We request the British government to urge the Ethiopian government to:
- Release Mr. Andargache Tsege unconditionally;
- Allow ICRC representatives to visit him and report his situation; and
- Instruct the British Embassy in Addis Ababa to closely monitor his situation.
The Executive Committee of
Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW)
CREW is a non-government, non-profit, non-partisan, human rights and peace organization established to promote the social, economic and legal rights of Ethiopian women in Ethiopia and worldwide.