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Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has made to the government of Ethiopia on the detention of political prisoners in that country. (99914)

We regularly make representations to the Government of Ethiopia about the detention of all those, including civil society representatives, detained in connection with political disturbances in 2005. Most recently, our ambassador in Addis Ababa raised our concerns with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on 5 October 2006. In our discussions we raise the need for the trials of those charged to be transparent, independent and impartial. The international community is monitoring the trials and the internal situation in Ethiopia closely.