After much external pressure, the government of Ethiopia just announced its plan to release all political prisoners and Maikelawi, more commonly known as the notorious Central Crime Investigation Center.
In response to the announcement, Freedom House, a U.S.-based organization lobbying for human rights and freedom worldwide, issued the following statement:
“Ethiopia’s pledge to release political prisoners is a positive step that needs to be followed by many more steps toward democratization,” said Jon Temin, director for Africa programs at Freedom House. “The Ethiopian government jailed thousands for participating in peaceful street demonstrations and involvement with opposition political parties, activities that should never have been criminalized. The government should undertake broad legal and institutional reforms to allow meaningful political activity and to make governance more inclusive, steps that should include the repeal of draconian ‘antiterrorism’ laws and strict limits on civic activism.”
Ethiopia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2017, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2017, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2017.