Government Pledges to Release ‘Political Prisoners’


In response to the announcement by the government of Ethiopia that it will release all political prisoners and close the notorious Central Crime Investigation Center, also known as Maikelawi, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“Ethiopia’s pledge to release political prisoners is a positive step that needs to be followed by many more steps toward democratization,” said Jon Temin, director for Africa programs at Freedom House. “The Ethiopian government jailed thousands for participating in peaceful street demonstrations and involvement with opposition political parties, activities that should never have been criminalized. The government should undertake broad legal and institutional reforms to allow meaningful political activity and to make governance more inclusive, steps that should include the repeal of draconian ‘antiterrorism’ laws and strict limits on civic activism.”

Ethiopia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2017, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2017, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2017.

Freedom House

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