A Call to Action:
We call on all Ethiopians and democratic forces worldwide to urgently focus on the most important task of the moment, that of saving Ato Andargachew. The single purpose of the first phase of our Global campaign should be very clear to all concerned. The worldwide campaign aims to put all the pressure on the Government of Yemen to secure the unconditional release of Ato Andargachew Tsege immediately.
We urge all Ethiopians around the world to focus on this single task. Call, email, and fax to the nearest Yemen Embassy or consulate wherever you may reside. We also urge everyone to call and speak politely but firmly. Our message should be very clear.
Please use the sample letter and talking points below when calling and emailing to Yemen Embassies around the world.
Free Andargachew Tsige Special Taskforce
*Please send the letter or a modified version to Ambassadors and Consular offices of Yemen in your nearest city via email or fax numbers
July 1, 2014
Your Excellency Ambassador_______
We are writing to express our grave concerns regarding the unlawful and unwarranted detention of Andargachew Tsege, Secretary General of Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy while in transit at Sanaa International Airport on June 23, 2014.
We are particularly concerned that the continued illegal detention of Mr. Tsege, a renowned critic of the Ethiopian government is politically motivated and against international law. Mr. Tsege who holds British citizenship was travelling with a UK passport at the time of his detention. He is being held incommunicado with no explanation forthcoming from Yemeni authorities for his illegal detention.
We urge the Government of Yemen to release him immediately and unconditionally.
Mr. Tsege, a well-known pro-democracy and human rights activist in his ancestral homeland, Ethiopia, presents no threat to Yemen or to the Yemeni authorities.
Mr. Tsege was imprisoned in Ethiopia for his political activities during the ill-fated election of 2005 and has escaped assassination attempts by the dictatorship whose brutality, is well documented by international human rights groups and the United States State Department. He has been convicted and sentenced to death in absentia by the tyrannical regime in Ethiopia.
It is now universally recognized that the Ethiopian regime subjects political opposition, human rights defenders, journalists and critics of the government in general, to persecution including threats, intimidation, arbitrary arrests and detentions, politically motivated trials, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings.
It’s unconscionable that the Government of Yemen would hand Mr. Tsege over summarily to the security forces of the Ethiopian regime whose persecution of its critics at home and abroad is well documented.
The principle of non-refoulement is well established in customary international law, prohibiting states, in this case Yemen, from extraditing Mr. Tsege to Ethiopia where he will certainly face torture and even death by the brutal regime in Ethiopia.
We respectfully urge the Government of Yemen:
*To respect its solemn obligations under international law and release Mr Tsege immediately and unconditionally;
*To immediately inform his family and loved ones of his whereabouts
* To allow ICRC representatives to visit him wherever he is being held
* To stop any illegal renditions the regime in Ethiopia may have requested.
We trust that Yemeni authorities would not engage in any harmful acts that would endanger the well-being, safety and security of Mr. Tsege.
***** For Callers to Yemen Embassies around the world, we advise all Ethiopians to call and speak politely but firmly. Do not engage in verbal abuse as this is not our objective.
The following are brief talking points for all telephone callers:
- Mr. Andargachew Tsege, Secretary General of Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy, was detained by Yemeni authorities.
- He has a British passport and was in transit at Sanaa Airport on June 23, 2014 when detained.
- His continued detention is contrary to international norms and conventions.
- Mr. Tsege is a well-known pro-democracy and human rights advocate in his ancestral homeland, Ethiopia, presents no threat whatsoever to the Yemeni authorities.
- I am calling to express my concerns for the security of Mr. Tsege and to request his immediate and unconditional release;