Ethiopia pardons treason and terrorism accused


Ethiopia pardoned more than 13,000 people in the past six months charged with or convicted of treason or terrorism, state-affiliated media said.

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

After reformist Abiy Ahmed became prime minister in April and began defusing long-standing tension with neighbouring Eritrea, a six-month amnesty was introduced for those held under provisions of an anti-terrorism law critics say criminalised dissent.

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

In addition to the release of political prisoners, parliament in June legalised two secessionist groups – the Oromo Liberation Front and the Ogaden National Liberation Front – and the exiled opposition movement ‘Ginbot 7’, all previously considered terrorist groups.

Government is now in discussion with opposition politicians and civil society groups to make amendments to anti-terrorism law.