Press Release

May 13, 2018

The Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia (AHRE) warmly welcomes the news on the Federal prosecutor’s decision to drop all charges against 62 federal political prisoners. The list includes 26 inmates charged for allegedly setting Qilinto prison ablaze, including Dr Fikru Maru, a renowned cardiologist and humanitarian; and Masresha Sete, a former pilot of the FDRE defence force. We are confident that all 62 inmates will be released shortly without any altercation.

On February 2018, AHRE had published a report, with detailed accounts of gross human rights violations committed by prison authorities against the detainees charged for ostensibly burning Qilinto prison[1].

Furthermore, we are thrilled to observe Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s commitment to negotiate the release of over 2 thousand Ethiopians held prisoners, in Kenya and Sudan. We warmly acknowledge and commend the steps taken by the Prime Minister and his government in releasing political prisoners in and outside the country.

While we congratulate the government of Ethiopia for the positive steps it has taken, we also once again reiterate our calls to release all remaining political prisoners held in different prisons and detention centres throughout the country, including Andargachew Tsige, a British citizen opposition group leader held in death row. We also urge the government to hold responsible and bring to justice all officials involved in torture and other criminal acts.

In addition, we once again call on the government to investigate and take all measures necessary to end the recent inter-ethnic displacements and violence from-and-in different parts of the country, including displacements of 200,000 people in the border areas of Gedeo (SNNPR) and West Guji (Oromia)[2]; recent displacement of Amharas from Benishangul region[3]; and the continued violence in border areas of Oromia and Ethio-somali regions, that led to loss of lives in recent weeks[4].

We trust that the government will fully commit towards widening the political space in Ethiopia and creating a conducive environment for democratic institutions to thrive.


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[4] [Amharic]

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