Ethiopia pardons 13,000 people accused of treason, terrorism

Ethiopian on map
Ethiopia on map

Ethiopia has pardoned more than 13,000 people in the past six months.

These were those who had been charged with or convicted of treason or terrorism, state-affiliated media said on Tuesday.

The previous government had said around 30,000 people including students, opposition leaders, journalists and bloggers were in detention following widespread protests that broke out in 2015.

It would be recalled that after Abiy Ahmed became the Prime Minister in April, he began defusing long-standing tension with neighbouring Eritrea.

He also introduced a six-month amnesty for those held under provisions of an anti-terrorism law that critics said were having criminal dissent.

“A total of 13,200 people have since been handed certificates of pardoning,” the Fana Broadcasting Corporation said, quoting a statement from the Attorney-General’s Office.

Following the recent release of political prisoners, the country’s parliament on Thursday legalised two secessionist groups.

They were: the Oromo Liberation Front and the Ogaden National Liberation Front – as well as the exiled opposition movement, ‘Ginbot 7’, all previously considered terrorist groups.

The government was said to have started discussions with opposition politicians and civil society groups to make amendments to the anti-terrorism law.

(Reuters/NAN)

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