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Posted July 2, 2014 in News
 
 

For Immediate Release


July 3, 2014

Ethiopian-Americans are outraged by news of the illegal detention on June 23, 2014 of Mr.
Andargachew Tsege, Secretary General of Ginbot 7, Movement for Justice, Freedom and
Democracy while in transit at Sanaa International Airport in Yemen. Mr. Tsege was travelling
with a United Kingdom passport at the time of his detention.

Mr. Tsege, a well-known pro-democracy and human rights activist in his ancestral homeland,
Ethiopia, presents no threat to Yemen or to the Yemeni authorities. Mr. Tsege was imprisoned
in Ethiopia for his political activities during the ill-fated election of 2005 and has escaped
assassination attempts by the dictatorship in Ethiopia whose brutality, is well documented by
international human rights groups and the United States State Department. He has been
convicted and sentenced to death in absentia by the tyrannical regime in Ethiopia. We are
particularly concerned that the continued illegal detention of Mr. Tsege, a renowned critic of
the Ethiopian government is politically motivated and against international law.

It is now universally recognized that the Ethiopian regime subjects political opposition, human
rights defenders, journalists and critics of the government in general, to persecution including
threats, intimidation, arbitrary arrests and detentions, politically motivated trials, enforced
disappearances and torture , extra-judicial killings.

Unconfirmed reports have come out from Ethiopia that the Ethiopian government has
requested the extradition of Mr. Tsege to Ethiopia. The principle of non-refoulement is well
established in customary international law, prohibiting states, in this case Yemen, from
extraditing Mr.Tsege to Ethiopia where he will certainly face torture and even death by the
brutal regime of Ethiopia.

It’s unconscionable that the Government of Yemen would hand Mr. Tsege over summarily to
the security forces of the Ethiopian regime whose persecution of its critics at home and abroad
is well documented.

We respectfully urge the Government of Yemen:
 To release Mr. Tsege immediately and unconditionally;
 To respect its solemn obligations under international law and release Mr Tesge
immediately and unconditionally;
 To immediately inform his family and loved ones of his whereabouts;
 To allow ICRC representatives to visit him wherever he is being held;
 To stop any illegal renditions the regime in Ethiopia may have requested.

We urge all human rights defenders and advocates to speak out against the illegal detention of
Mr. Tsege and call on the government of Yemen for his unconditional and immediate release.