Andy Tsege, a British dad on death row in Ethiopia, has gone two years without a phone call to his family in London.
Andy last spoke to his partner and three children on 14th December 2014. His family say that the rare phone call came out of the blue and lasted only a few minutes.
Since then, guards at Kality prison, which has been dubbed ‘Ethiopia’s Gulag‘, have heavily restricted Andy’s contact with the outside world.
He is held under an unlawful sentence of death in Ethiopia, after he was kidnapped and rendered to the country in 2014.
Andy is a well-known critic of the Ethiopian ruling party, and he was sentenced to death in absentia in 2009 while he was living in London.
“Andy has had no contact with his family in the UK for over two years. Having been kidnapped from an international airport and rendered to Ethiopia’s Gulag in June of 2014, Andy has languished on death row ever since. Andy’s nine-year-old twins are facing another Christmas without their father at home. It is shocking that the British and Ethiopian governments cannot organise something as basic as regular phone calls for Andy’s family.”
Maya Foa, a director of Reprieve
The Foreign Office recently lost consular contact with him for a fortnight, amid reports that he was ‘in fear for his life.’
Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood told Parliament last month that, “As part of our ongoing consular support to Mr Tsege, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has made representations to the Ethiopian Government requesting that he be given access to a telephone.”
Andy requested a phone call with his family at his last consular visit over a month ago. However, since then he has not been able to make a call.
On the last visit by British Embassy staff to the jail, he asked the FCO to “Pass my love and tell them I am thinking of them always.”
British MPs are due to debate Andy’s case in Parliament on Tuesday, 20th December.