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Mike responds to concerns about the detention of Andargachew Tsege in Ethiopia

I share my constituents concerns about Mr Tsege's imprisonment, particularly given that he has been detained for over two years with no legal process or access to a lawyer, and that he was sentenced to death in absentia. 

I oppose the death penalty in all circumstances, and I have been deeply concerned by reports of Mr Tsege's welfare.

I am a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and we took up the case of Mr Tsege in our 2016 Human Rights Report which you can view here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmfaff/545/54504.htm

It was encouraging to learn earlier this year that the Prime Minister of Ethiopia had given an assurance that Mr Tsege would be allowed access to independent legal advice. Disappointingly, however, I understand that Mr Tsege is still being denied this.

I believe it is completely unacceptable that a British citizen should be treated in the way that Mr Tsege has. The Opposition has pressed the Government on Mr Tsege's case regularly. However, the Government has so far refused to demand Mr Tsege's release.

Mr Tsege's continuing detention was debated in Parliament on 20 December 2016 and this was an important opportunity to raise further awareness of this case and press the Government on what it is doing to resolve it.

I believe the Government must use its influence and uphold our responsibility to secure Mr Tsege's release and return him home. I hope the Government will use every opportunity to raise his case at the very highest levels in Ethiopia. I will continue to follow any developments closely.

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