Ethiopia: TPLF to release hundreds of political prisoners dropping charges

by Engidu Woldie

ESAT News (January 15, 2018)

Hundreds of political prisoners would be freed as early as Wednesday as charges were dropped against 528 prisoners, media affiliated with the regime in Addis Ababa reported on Monday.

Announcing the release, the prosecutor general of the regime, Getachew Ambaye, however insist the country is not holding political prisoners, echoing the statement by the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn a week ago. Asked if the release include leaders of political parties, the prosecutor general said that will be seen when the full list is out in the next few days.

Those whose charges were dropped include Merera Gudina, Bekele Gerba and other leaders of Oromo political organizations.

The announcement by the prosecutor general says those whom the regime accused have plotted to “dismantle the constitution” would not be released, casting doubt on the release of a number of other prominent political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.

A number of political prisoners were falsely charged with “plotting to overthrow the regime and dismantling the constitutional system.”

The announcement of the release of political prisoners followed mounting pressure from all corners of Ethiopia where the people have been demanding in protest demonstrations the removal of the regime and respect for their political and economic rights.