Steve McCabe – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Steve McCabe on 2016-06-07.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, for what reasons he has not yet called for the immediate release of Andargachew Tsege.

James Duddridge

The Government takes the detention and welfare of Mr Andargachew Tsege very seriously. The Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) raised Mr Tsege’s case with the Ethiopian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister during his visit to Ethiopia on 1 June 2016. The Foreign Secretary received assurances that Mr Tsege will be allowed access to independent legal advice to allow him to discuss options under the Ethiopian legal system. We judge that an independent lawyer would be best placed to advise Mr Tsege of his options based on points of Ethiopian law. We will continue to press the Ethiopians as necessary to ensure that Mr Tsege has legal representation. Britain does not interfere in the legal systems of other countries, any more than we would accept interference in our judicial system. Our consular role is to ensure well-being and access to legal advice.