In a matter of a week after Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) reported on poor health condition of abducted Ethiopian opposition figure ,Andargachew Tsige, government affiliated website “Ethiopia First” ( click here) published a photo of him in what seem to be an apparent move to dissipate concern among Ethiopians.
Usually when there are reports on the condition of Andargachew, government releases investigation like video through state television.
This time, it is only a picture and it is not even released directly by projected by state media. In view of repressed state of the free press in Ethiopia, it would amount to naivety to question as to why some publishers have exclusive access to information like this while others are subject to regular harassment including arbitrary arrest.
The picture published by “Ethiopia First” purportedly shows Andargachew on what seems to be tour of express way opened in recent years.
No family member or any other party is allowed to visit Andargachew in prison. So far the only known exception is that the British Ambassador to Ethiopia, Greg Dorey, who reportedly paid a visit to Andargachew Tsige twice in a span of months and not much is known about his observation.
Many are puzzled as to what taking Andargachew Tsige on tour of road infrastructure is supposed to mean while no family member is allowed to visit Andargachew. To date, no other political prisoner is reportedly taken on a similar tour recently constructed infrastructure.
It is to be recalled that Andargachew Tsige was abducted in Yemen while on what appeared to be transiting to Eritrea in June of 2014. Andargachew is a British citizen.
He was sentenced to death in absentia for involvement in opposition movement, ginbot 7, for which he was a secretary.