by Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve
Andy Tsege returned to London this morning, and was reunited with his partner and children for the first time after four long years on Ethiopia’s death row.
(Reprieve) — His ‘crime’ – criticising the Ethiopian regime. For that he was sentenced to death when he wasn’t even in Ethiopia, let alone the courtroom, to defend himself. He was living in London with his family, but was later kidnapped and rendered to a prison dubbed ‘Ethiopia’s Gulag’ to serve his unlawful death sentence.
After four years apart from his family, he has now finally been officially pardoned, freed and reunited with them. I know that so many of you have campaigned for Andy’s release, and I want to thank you for your dedication to what has been a long and difficult battle.
I hope everyone will join me in acknowledging the bravery and determination of Andy’s partner Yemi and their three children, who have fought for him every day of the last four years, while coping without him.
Andy’s children waiting for their dad at Heathrow
I know you will also recognise the incredibly difficult work done by my team, starting on the day Yemi walked though our door, distraught, and asked for our help – it’s only because of donations from people like you that we are able to do this work.
Without all of us, Andy could well have been forgotten long ago and would not be free today. All the work, all the petition signatures, all the letters to MPs, and the support of MPs from across the political spectrum, have brought us to this day. A farther who was facing death is free and reunited with his family.