UN calls for ‘immediate release’ of British activist jailed in Ethiopia July 5, 2015
The United Nations (UN) has called for the immediate release of an Ethiopian-British citizen being held on death row in Ethiopia for more than a year, a case which campaigners have claimed exposes Britain’s poor diplomacy.
Signalling an abrupt hardening of its stance on the case, experts from the UN Human Rights Council have asked Ethiopia to pay Andargachew Tsige ‘adequate compensation’ before sending him home to London, reported The Guardian.
An eight-page judgement handed to Ethiopia by the UNHRC’s working group on arbitrary detention also claimed that ‘reliable evidence’ had suggested possible situation of physical abuse and mistreatment which could amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Earlier, internal Foreign Office emails, disclosed for the first time, had revealed that Tsige was abducted and jailed in an unknown location in June 2014, with many British officials voicing fears about real risk of torture if Tsige was returned to Ethiopia.
The 60-year-old was detained at Yemen’s main airport while in transit and forcibly moved to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. He is a prominent opposition politician and an outspoken critic of the Ethiopian government and the country’s human rights record.