Andargachew “Andy” Tsege is British but so far his government hasn’t demanded his release. Now Menabe and her family are trying to force their hand.

By Cassandra Vinograd |

London—It’s not every day that a 9-year-old American girl takes the British government to court.

But for Menabe Andargachew, it’s a matter of life and death: her father’s.

Andargachew “Andy” Tsege disappeared while catching a connecting flight through Yemen in June 2014. The political activist was snatched and forcibly taken to Ethiopia, where he had been sentenced to death for opposition work.

Tsege is British but so far his government hasn’t demanded his release. Now Menabe and her family are trying to force their hand: They filed a legal challenge alleging that approach is “unlawful.”

“My mom said he’s been sentenced to death,” Menabe says as her chin quivers. “I just don’t know if we can get him back in time.”

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This week 61-year-old Tsege marked 700 days in detention — without any access to a lawyer.

His Maryland-born partner, family and lawyers say he was kidnapped — a victim of rendition carried out by Ethiopia, which has labeled him a terrorist and enemy of the state. Ethiopia says he was “extradited.”

Tsege was never formally notified of charges against him, trials or given an opportunity to present a defense, according the legal filing. His supporters allege that Tsege — a prominent member of the Ethiopian opposition — is a victim of political persecution.

“I have serious questions about the Ethiopian government’s use of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to limit free speech and political dissent, and Mr. Tsege’s grave case is one of many that gives cause for concern,” Sen. Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement to NBC News.

Continue reading this story on NBC News
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3 Responses

  1. Kidnapped Brit Enters 3rd Year on Ethiopia’s Death Row

    […] ALSO READ: Andargachew ‘Andy’ Tsege in Ethiopia Case: Daughter, 9, in Legal Bid to Return Death-…The documents also show that Ethiopian officials have repeatedly told UK diplomats that there is no possibility of a legal process for Mr Tsege in Ethiopia – raising serious doubts over an announcement by Mr Hammond, made earlier this month, that Ethiopia’s government had promised ‘legal access’ for Mr Tsege. […]

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