Andargachew Tsige’s daughter, 8-year-old Menabe Andargachew has written to the Queen to ask for her help in setting him free.
The daughter of a [Ethio]-British man who has been given the death penalty in Ethiopia has written a heartfelt letter to the Queen.
Menabe Andargachew is just 8 years old, but is preparing to spend a second Christmas without her father Andy Tsige from North London.
Father-of-three Andy was taken by Ethiopian security forces at a Yemen airport in 2014, and was sentenced to death for allegedly plotting a coup- a charge he denies.
Campaigners say the real reason he is facing execution, is because he fell out with former prime minister Meles Zenawi after exposing corruption.
But despite the efforts of campaigners Andy has remained in their custody, forcing his increasingly desperate daughter Menabe to seek help from the queen.
Her heart wrenching letter reads:
“Dear Queen Elizabeth,
“My name is Menabe Andargachew I am 8 and attend [redacted name of school].
“My father is currently held captive in Ethiopia the situation occurred 1 and a third years ago. I am writing to ask your assistance in these troubled times to bring my father back would be asking too much.
“I just wish you could help change the government’s actions towards the situation. Last year the year sixes in my school and my brother, sister and I wrote letters to David Cameron.
“His reply wasn’t very convincing because at the very least I haven’t heard any news and at the most I don’t see any father’s in the house so I have decided to write to you instead in hope you will help.
“With David Cameron in charge again the situation will not be solved which is why you need to get him to actually pay attention to the problem. My sister won the Liberty human rights award but David Cameron still didn’t do anything.
From Menabe Andargachew”.
According to the Mail On Sunday, correspondence between Foreign Office officials have questioned the evidence that had led to his arrest, writing:
“All we have seen are a few pictures of him standing in an Eritrean village – hardly proof that he was engaged in terrorist training.”
Speaking about the horrific situation, director of Reprieve’s death penalty team Maya Foa said:
“Andy Tsige is a British citizen and father who has been subjected to a series of terrible abuses at the hands of the Ethiopian regime – kidnap, rendition, torture, incommunicado detention, and an in absentia death sentence – as punishment for his political beliefs.
“Yet despite these serious human rights violations against one of its nationals, the British government has failed to request Andy’s release from unlawful detention.
“Instead, his family must now prepare for a second Christmas without him. The British government must not let Andy’s children suffer without their father any longer – ministers must demand his release without delay.”
Sign the petition here
Extra: Recently, the older daughter of Andy Tsige, Helawit Hailemariam, won The Christine Jackson Young Person Award at the Liberty Human Rights Awards 2015. You can watch the award ceremony here.
- Andargachew Tsige Tells UK: “Bury Me In England”
- US and European Officials Urge Ethiopia to Release Andy Tsige
- Human Rights Award for Helawit, Andargachew Tsige’s Daughter
- UN Demands Release of British Activist Jailed in Ethiopia Amid Torture Fears
- UK Should Demand Ethiopia Release British Dissident from Death Row – Reprieve