Family’s agony over Upper Holloway dad’s death sentence
- Credit: Archant
Community rallies round man trapped in Ethiopia
The family of a man trapped in Ehtiopia facing a possible death setnce are desperately trying to get him home as his 60th birthday appraoches.
Andargachew ‘Andy’ Tsege, from Upper Holloway, was kidnapped by Ethiopian security forces from an airport in Yemen in June 2014 - the dad of three is now detained in a secret location in Ethiopia.
A petition launched by the his partner Yemi Hailemariam and their children Helawit, 15, and twins Menabe and Yilak, 7, calling on Rpime Minister David Cameron to take action has gained more than 16,500 signatures.
It says: “Since Dad’s disappearance, our family has been in agony.
“We still don’t know where our dad is being held, or how he is being treated. The only glimpse we’ve had of him was when he was paraded on Ethiopian state TV giving a forced confession in July 2014. He looked thin and unwell.
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“So far the Ethiopian government has ignored British requests for ‘assurance’ that our dad will not be executed. We also know that torture is very common in Ethiopia, and we are desperately worried about his safety in detention.
“Dad is a kind, loving and caring man – we are so worried about him and miss him so much. We need him home with us in London.
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“Please, Mr Cameron, tell the Ethiopians to let our dad come home.”
Teachers at Hugh Myddleton Primary School, in Myddeleton Street, Finsbury, where the twins are pupils, have been supporting the campaing.
A letter circulation by staff said: “The following petition concerns one of our parents and loved member of our school community Andargachew Tsege who was abducted in Yemen in June 2014 and is being held in a secret location in Ethiopia.
“The petition gives further details. Andargachew’s twins are in year 3 at our school.
“Yemi, his wife is doing everything she can to get Andargachew home and to get as many names on the petition before his 60th birthday on Feb 9, when she wants to present it at Downing Street.”
Cllr Joe Caluori, Islington Council’s executive member for children and families, said: “The foreign office need to take a lot more action and push a lot harder. He is a British citizen and has only had two consular visits as far as I can see.
“It’s completely unacceptable for a British citizen to executed in another county. It’s astonishing that he could be kidnapped while travelling from one country to another.
A delegation led by Mr Tsege’s constituency MP Jeremy Corbyn is set to visit Ethiopia later this month.
Cllr Caluori added: “I hope they have some luck, but without foreign office backing it will be easier for the Ethiopian government.”