Ethiopia to free all political prisoners

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The Ethiopian Government, on Wednesday, ordered the release of all its political prisoners and the closure of its notorious Maekelawi prison camp.

The prison camp used to be home for several dozen high-profile figures in the East African country.

The country’s Prime Minster, Hailemariam Desalegn, issued the order, as part of what he said was an effort “to create a national consensus and widen the democratic space for all”.

The move comes in the wake of widespread anti-government protests that engulfed much of the restive Oromia and Amhara regions and spread to other towns and cities in the region recently.

For this development, local and foreign business, universities and transport networks came to a standstill in many parts of the country.

“This happened due to the violent protests, which witnessed one of the nation’s most serious ethnic clashes between the Oromo and the Ethiopian Somali ethnic groups.

“Political prisoners, who are facing prosecutions and are already under arrest will be released.

“Also, the notorious prison cell that was traditionally called Maekelawi, will be closed down and turned into a museum,” the prime minister added.

Present on the occasion of the PM address, were members of the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front.