Ethiopia pardons 13,000 accused of treason

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed attends meetings of Heads of State and Government on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia January 17, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia has pardoned more than 13,000 people in the past six months who had been charged with or convicted of treason or terrorism, state-affiliated media said on Tuesday.

The previous government had said around 30,000 people including students, opposition leaders, journalists and bloggers were in detention following widespread protests that broke out in 2015.

After the reformist Abiy Ahmed became prime minister in April and began defusing long-standing tension with neighbouring Eritrea, a six-month amnesty was introduced for those held under provisions of an anti-terrorism law that critics say has crimina-lised dissent.

“A total of 13,200 people have since been handed certificates of pardoning,” the Fana Broadcasting Corporation said, quoting a statement from the Attorney General’s Office.

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