Yemen : Extradition principle is meant to serve justice, not brutal regime

Yemenia Flight Number 853 Route  Source: www.airportia.com
Yemenia Flight Number 853 Route
Source: www.airportia.com

No more blind guessing. It is crystal clear to me that Andargachew’s abduction is an upshot of an orchestrated intelligence operation by the regime in Addis Ababa and Yemenis authorities.

Some seem to naively see the development in light of alleged bilateral security pact between in Yemen and Ethiopia back in 1999 which cannot explain abduction of British national of Ethiopian origin by the government of Yemen.

On the part of Woyanne, the motivation is clearly political and the capture of Andargachew represents an important political undertaking.

What is Yemen getting in return is unclear to me. Is it a case of corruption at the level of security officials of Yemen government or is it the case that the government of Yemen is fully involved in the enterprise of capturing Andargachew Tsige?

Whatever the case is, if the British government is not involved in the capture of its own citizen, which would be a very dumb thing to think, both the Ethiopian and Yemen government will not get away with this orchestrated abduction.

Why it is not a document issue

Many of us crossed document issue off as a possible problem for what happened to Andargachewu.

Indeed, it’s unthinkable for a person who is one of the prime targets of the regime in Addis Ababa to compromise his security by way of travelling recklessly as that would amount to giving the regime a good chance to capture him.

And one cannot, so to speak, board a plane without having proper documentation, be it a pass port, a travelling document or laissez passer.

VOA Amharic interview with Berhanu Nega, chairman of Ginbot 7 movement for Democracy, Freedom and Justice, reveals much needed information and adequately.

On the basis of the interview, Andargachew apparently departed Dubai on board of Senna bound Yemania Airways plane flight Number 853 on Monday June 23, 2014. He was supposedly to have transit time in Senna until he connects to a flight to his final destination, which appears to me to be Asmara.

As well, it is revealed that Andargachew is a long time British resident which means that he has either a valid travelling document issued by the government of United Kingdom or a UK pass port. As long as valid, any one of these documents is supposed to give him protection whenever he travels. In the case of travel document, he might not be allowed to travel to Ethiopia. Otherwise he is free everywhere. This is a principle recognized under the 1951 Geneva Convention.

So why would the government of Yemen detain a passenger whom Yemenia Airways approved for travel? Worse, why would the government of Yemen detain a lawful passenger of Yemenia Airways and demonstrate a will to extradite him to Ethiopia?

Extradition principle is meant to serve justice, not brutal regime

As to my understanding “extradition” is not supposed to be used for purposes of political repression.

I could be wrong but “extradition”, as a legal concept in international relation, is meant to prevent individuals to get away with blood in their hands and/or other forms of heinous crimes.

Andargachewu is a victim of criminal regime, not a criminal. In fact, repression against Andargachewu was even extended against his aging father. Andargachew himself is sentenced to death in absentia.

Cognizant of these very conditions, if Yemen decides to extradite Andargachew to Ethiopia, it would clearly constitute a thuggish act rather than an action by a respectable and reasonable government. It constitutes a breach of international norm.

Post Abdulla Saleh Yemen does not want to gamble with its own reputation as a country.

Omission and commission

Political Alliance for repression seem to take a form of commission and omission as far as relation between Ethiopia and some gulf countries is concerned. And Yemen is poised to add evidence for that should it resort to serving the regime in Addis by extraditing Andargachewu.

Few months ago, thousands of Ethiopian migrants were grossly persecuted in a barbaric way in Saudi Arabia on grounds of alleged illegal presence. And the response from the regime in Addis was one of omission for most part restricting itself in a diplomatic language at the very moment where Ethiopians were slaughtered in the hands of barbaric Saudis.

Ethiopian government acted in the eleventh hour by way of repatriating Ethiopians, in fact with financial support from British government and IOM in Ethiopia.

Ethiopian immigrants in Yemen experienced similar persecution. And the government is Addis Ababa omitted it again. Now it is understandable why it is so.

Ethiopians in Sudan have experienced persecution and forced repatriation at different times. The case with Sudan seems more like commission. Ethiopia and Sudan have even signed joint cross border security agreement. They have formed even joint forces border patrol forces. Usually, victims are Ethiopians who are unable to live in their own country due to repression.

Gulf States that often abuse Ethiopians have a considerable business presence and investment in Ethiopia. Sudan is allegedly rewarded a corridor of land extending over 1000 kilometers along the Ethio-Sudanese border.
Political alliance between the regime in power in Ethiopia and most Arab countries in North Africa, Gulf of Aden and Sudan goes back to the guerrilla times of current Ethiopian rulers. Maintain that warm relation seem to be a matter of interest on both sides. At times even at the expense of religion that these countries pretend to care about.

Thousands of Ethiopian Muslims are under total repression of the regime in Ethiopia. And it is not just a repression affecting only their economic and political lives. It is a form of repression that affects the freedom of religion of Ethiopian Muslims. In fact, most of Ethiopian migrants persecuted in Saudi and Yemen are Muslims.

UK government key

Andargachew, as mentioned above, is a British resident. And Britain has the duty to stand up against the unlawful and orchestrated abduction of Andargachew.

On the other hand, because The West is allowing the regime in Ethiopia to enjoy continuous economic support in the form of aid, the Ethiopian regime has managed to afford to pay for a system of total repression, which is now becoming cross-border repression.

by Dimetros Birku

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