Yemi Hailemariam: “Economical gain without any independence means absolutely nothing; and economical gain at the end of the day, when there is repression, is only for the few”

By Ludovica Iaccino ; Video by Sho Murakoshi (IBTimes UK)

A recent crackdown on anti-government protests in Ethiopia has sparked fears for the fate of arrested activists and political opponents including prominent opposition member Andargachew ‘Andy’ Tsege, currently on death row in the African nation. The British-Ethiopian citizen is the founder of the Ginbot 7 political party, which Ethiopia classified as a terrorist organisation.

Tsege moved to the UK in 1979 and was later granted asylum as a political refugee. In 2009, he was tried in absentia and sentenced to death by the Ethiopian government for an alleged coup attempt.Tsege continued to live in London with his family until 2014, when he was arrested by Yemeni authorities in collaboration with Ethiopian intelligence at Yemen’s Sana’a airport. He was then subsequently deported to Ethiopia.

IBTimes UK interviewed Tsege’s partner, Yemi Hailemariam, who lives in London with the couple’s three children. Hailemariam has been campaigning for the release of her husband, who some believe was arrested as part of a wider crackdown the government carried out on opposition members ahead of the 2015 general election.

ALSO READ Yemi Hailemariam: My Activist Partner Is on Death Row in Ethiopia. The UK Needs to Intervene

“We are one of the possible ways that he can be able to get out of the situation that he is in. So that burden of trying to bring about his release is time-consuming and very distracting,” Hailemariam told IBTimes UK. “He will come out and he should always think it is a very short time before he is going to be free.”

Continue reading this story on IBTimes UK
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