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Ethiopia to Free Political Prisoners, Close Prison

Important Steps, But More Rights Reforms Needed

Today, Ethiopia’s ruling coalition announced it would release political prisoners and close the infamous Maekelawi detention center in the capital, Addis Ababa. While the government did not say how and when this would occur, doing so would be an important step toward ending longstanding political repression and human rights abuse in the country.

Numerous questions remain regarding timelines for implementation, who qualifies as a “political prisoner,” and how many detainees will be freed. Will the release only include well-known figures like Bekele Gerba, an ethnic Oromo politician detained since December 2015? Or will the thousands of ordinary detainees held in military camps and police stations, often without charge, for peacefully protesting against government policies also be freed? What, if any, conditions will be placed on those released?

Human Rights Watch

Posted by on January 4, 2018. Filed under Human Rights & The Press. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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