Former government officials and political prisoners freed by Ethiopia

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia has been sweeping aside decades of severe repression and false accusations against members of his government. On Wednesday, a man who was last seen taking photos of Israeli soldiers during a 2015 attack was released along with a military officer and seven others, including a woman who had been in jail for 20 years. Dozens more are expected to be released soon. A day before the march of freedom, Mr. Abiy urged civilians to join his journey on the streets and questioned the government’s long-standing ban on demonstrations.

Political prisoners. The Defence and Interior Ministries issued a joint statement announcing that they would release 46 opposition leaders and activists who were arrested in the last two years. The government has previously accused anti-government groups of orchestrating protests to destabilize the country.

A military court acquitted four people last week for participating in protests and an influential religious leader is expected to soon be released. Mr. Abiy has a history of working with the international community and even brought up former President Bill Clinton during a recent visit to Washington. He became Ethiopia’s prime minister in April 2018 and is a leader in his own right.

Even opposition figures are turning to him for support. Yessuf Ahmed Mergen, a former government spokesman who fled the country for Qatar in 2015, is returning to Ethiopia to join Mr. Abiy’s forces. He released a statement after the political prisoners were released, saying “Now is the time to support you in the fight against injustice, tyranny and tyranny in general.”

Leave a Comment