World Bulletin / News Desk
“The first-phase implementation of release of prisoners’ has begun and at the federal level the charges of 115 prisoners have been discontinued,” said Attorney General Getachew Ambaye on Monday. “They will be released on Wednesday.”
The attorney general said the South Ethiopia Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State – a region of more than 58 ethnic groups – had dropped charges targeting 413 inmates.
He added other regions would follow suit and that in the next couple of months political figures in jail who have been “convicted” of crimes would also be given amnesty.
Opposition parties have long denounced the indiscriminate jailing of polticial figures in Ethiopia.
Merera Gudina, leader of the Oromo Federalist Party arrested in 2016, is expected to be among those released.
The Oromia and Amhara regional states -- the most populous in the country, accounting for more than 60 percent of Ethiopia's population -- are currently in the process of identifying prisoners for release according to the recent decision of the executive committee of the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
According to Ambaye, people who have killed during protests or those who directly participated in the destruction of property would not be eligible to benefit from this latest government edict.
Since 2016 there have been widespread anti-government demonstrations in Ethiopia particularly in the two largest and most populous regions of Oromia and Amhara.
Two weeks ago, in a rare admission, the ruling party said it had problems of governance and internal strife which caused socio-economic problems in the country.
The attorney general during the press briefing did not mention names of prominent political figures in jail that may or may not be released.
President Donald Trump repeated his call, meanwhile, for arming some of America's teachers and claimed the controversial proposal was increasingly drawing support.
Clashes oppose Israeli forces and local residents in Dehisha camp
Economic penalties aimed at curbing Pyongyang's sanctions-evasions practices that facilitate coal, fuel transports
Will of Turkish Cypriot people must be included in gas drilling process in the Mediterranean, says Turkish Cypriot premier
Embassy opening will coincide with Israel's 70th anniversary, State Department spokesperson says
Russia stalls a vote on a ceasefire allowing humanitarian access in Syria, US envoy to UN says
Canadian foreign minister says targeting civilians is violation of international humanitarian law
Heather Nauert reiterates Turkish military operation in Afrin would cause a "distraction"
International law continues to view West Bank and East Jerusalem as 'occupied territories'
Hamas blasts Palestinian president's calls to resume talks with Israeli occupiers
Some say transport union leader Hugo Moyano is promoting the strike in a bid to avoid probe
Video stating Florida school shooting survivor is an actor becomes top trending video on site before it is removed
Coalition of opposition parties say elections called by government do not offer them any guarantees
Twelve Palestinian lawmakers remain in Israeli custody
Israeli army frequently carries out wide-ranging arrest campaigns in the West Bank