UK diplomats clash over Briton on death row in Ethiopia: Officials’ fury after Foreign Secretary claims he couldn’t ‘find time’ to help father-of-three facing execution

  • Andargachew Tsege was snatched by officials at Yemen airport last June
  • The 59-year-old was transferred to Ethiopia where he is thought to remain
  • Father-of-three moved to London in 1979 from native African country
  • He was dubbed ‘Ethiopian Mandela’ after exposing government corruption
  • Leaked emails revealed British officials’ frustration at political inaction
  • Philip Hammond said he could not ‘find time’ for phone call on issue

Daily Mail

Ian Birrell for The Mail on Sunday

January 24,2015

Family torn apart: Kidnapped Briton Andargachew Tsege with wife Yemi and their children, before his abduction
Family torn apart: Kidnapped Briton Andargachew Tsege with wife Yemi and their children, before his abduction

Yet Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he could not ‘find time’ for a phone call to raise the issue and did not want to send a ‘negative’ letter.

In one email, an exasperated official asks: ‘Don’t we need to do more than give them a stern talking to?’

Tsege, who has lived in the UK since 1979, has been called Ethiopia’s Nelson Mandela. Tsege fell out with his university friend ex-Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, after he exposed government corruption and helped establish a pro-democracy party.

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