Ethiopia to release imprisoned politicians, close notorious camp

Ethiopia to close notorious prison and free all political prisoners

Ethiopia to close notorious prison and free all political prisoners

"While plans to close the notorious Maekelawi detention centre are welcome, the closure must not be used to whitewash the horrifying events that have taken place there".

Rights groups and opposition groups in Ethiopia had been calling for the release of political prisoners, saying they were arrested on trumped-up charges and were being punished for their points of view.

It's a surprising turnaround for a government that has launched a sweeping crackdown on dissent and had not previously admitted that it is even holding political prisoners.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, whose administration denies crushing peaceful opposition, said the move was meant to "foster national reconciliation".

The unrest had triggered growing friction within the party.

"Chairpersons of the four parties (ANDM, OPDO, SEPDM and TPLF) said all the national parties have come out as victorious and they took full responsibility for the current problems witnessed in the country", according to ENA.

The complainants accused the government of resorting to mass arrests to repress the opposition, as the inmates arrived there after making protests across the country to demand political and economic reforms.

Desalegn said the move would bring some respite to the two years of anti-government protests in Oromia, the largest and most populous region in the country.

The Ethiopian government, in its response to the public anger, had reshuffled majority of its senior officials and ministers soon after the declaration of the state of emergency back in October 2016. A number of journalists also remain in detention.

"This happened due to the violent protests, which witnessed one of the nation's most serious ethnic clashes between the Oromo and the Ethiopian Somali ethnic groups", the prime minister said.

Present during the address were members of the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front.

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.