Ethiopia to release jailed political prisoners: PM

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn gestures during a news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 11, 2016. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn gestures during a news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 11, 2016. REUTERS

Ethiopia is set to release jailed political prisoners in a move aimed at fostering national reconciliation, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, Desalegn said that politicians currently under prosecution and those previously sentenced will either have their cases annulled or pardoned.

“Political prisoners that are facing prosecutions and are already under arrest will be released,” Hailemariam said. “And the notorious prison cell that was traditionally called Maekelawi will be closed down and turned into a museum.”

Rights group and opposition have frequently called for the release of political prisoners. The country’s government has long been accused of arresting journalists and opposition leaders.

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