§ Mr. David Nicholson
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has on the living condition of Sophie Desta and her sisters, of the family of the late Emperor of Ethiopia; what representations have been made to the Ethiopian Government regarding the imprisonment of these women; and what response was obtained.
§ Mrs. Chalker
We understand that the seven female prisoners belonging to the family of the former Ethiopian royal family are held in a cell approximately 20 ft by 12 ft in an Addis Ababa prison. We have made numerous representations to the Ethiopian authorities on behalf of these and the many other political prisoners in Ethiopia. My hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development took the matter up during a visit to Ethiopia earlier this month. The Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister responded that the release of the prisoners was being considered in the context of the new Ethiopian constitution.