Liam Fox fails British father on death row in Ethiopia

November 23, 2017

The International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, has admitted he did not raise the case of a British father on death row in Ethiopia at an official meeting with the Ethiopian Prime Minster earlier this month. 

Asked directly about the case of Andy Tsege by Liberal Democrat spokesman, Tom Brake, in the House of Commons this morning, Dr Fox said only that his “official meeting with Ethiopian prime minister discussed the need for long term political as well as economic stability as well as the political space.” He did add that the Government had raised Andy’s case in private.

During his visit to Ethiopia, Dr Fox pledged to double the financial support available for trade with the country, as part of efforts to increase long-term trade links.

Andy Tsege, a British citizen, has been imprisoned facing a death sentence since 2014, after he was kidnapped from an international airport, illegally flown to Ethiopia, tortured and paraded on state TV. He was convicted in his absence in 2009, while he was living with his partner and three children in London.

Responding, Maya Foa – Director of Reprieve – said: 

“Liam Fox should not be rewarding a country that imposed a death sentence on a British citizen while he was living at home in London, and then kidnapped and tortured him. The fact that he did not mention Andy’s name at his official meeting with the Ethiopian Prime Minister shows that the Secretary of State is not serious about standing up for British values in his post-Brexit dash for trade deals. Dr Fox should make this British father’s return to his family a condition of any future trade incentives for the Ethiopian Government.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization. Reprieve’s London office can be contacted on media@reprieve.org.uk, or +44 (0)207 553 8140.

2. Background on Andy’s case is available here.