Ethiopian opposition leader freed from jail

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An Ethiopian opposition leader has been released from jail after more than a year in detention.

Merera Gudina, leader of the Oromo Federalist Conference was released on Wednesday morning, with the government announcing that had dropped charges against him.

Gudina had been in prison since December 2016, and was facing multiple charges, including association with a terrorist group.

The opposition figure was arrested in November 2016 at the airport in Addis Ababa after he flew back into the country from Brussels.

He was accused of violating Ethiopia’s state of emergency by having contact with “terrorist” and “anti-peace” groups, state-linked media reported at the time.

That month, Mr Merera had criticised the state of emergency in an address to the European parliament.

The government imposed it in October 2016 to end an unprecedented wave of protests against its 25-year rule.

More than 11,000 people have since been arrested.

Gudina has previously criticised the arrests of hundreds of people from the Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups, which were at the forefront of anti-government protests.

The government also announced that it would drop charges against more than 500 other suspects who were arrested and detained during the protests that rocked the country in parts of 2016 and 2017.

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