Ethiopia to Release All Political Prisoners, Close Camp

Ethiopia to Release All Political Prisoners, Close Camp Photo: KSTP File Photo

January 03, 2018 06:18 AM

Ethiopia's leader has announced plans to drop charges against political prisoners and close a notorious prison camp in what he calls an effort to "widen the democratic space for all."

Prime Minster Hailemariam Desalegn's surprise comments on Wednesday came after anti-government protests engulfed much of the restive Oromia and Amhara regions in recent months, affecting businesses and transport networks.

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"Political prisoners that are facing prosecutions and are already under arrest will be released," Hailemariam said. "And the notorious prison cell that was traditionally called Maekelawi will be closed down and turned into a museum."

Ethiopians were quick to respond, even with social media sites currently blocked.

"I'm writing you this struggling with my tears," wrote renowned blogger and former detainee Befeqadu Hailu. "All these pledges need to be implemented immediately."

Credits

The Associated Press

(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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