Ethiopian journalist and blogger, Eskinder Nega has been released from a prison facility after seven years in jail. Many political prisoners have also had the charges against them dropped and are calling for the release of those still in jail.
Journalist Eskinder Nega and opposition leader Andualem Arage walked free on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. A day earlier, Bekele Gerba of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) was set free. They are the most prominent political prisoners to be freed this week, in which the government promised to release over 700 prisoners.
Eskinder, who has been in jail since 2001, convicted of having links with banned groups, was among the over 740 prisoners who were set for release by the federal government as part of political reforms announced in January 2018.
The international community reacted in a positive yet cautious manner. The EU reacted
“The release of thousands of prisoners in the past couple of weeks, including the journalist Eskinder Nega and the leader of the opposition Andualem Arage is a step in the right direction. It’s particularly important in view of this year’s local elections,” an EU spokesperson told DW.
AS's favorite pictures so far. #EskinderNega being escorted to the car by Journalist Temesgen Desalegn, who was recently released after finishing his term; #AndualemAragie smiling and our hard working jurno Mahlet Fasil (@MahletFasil) getting her best moment with her icon. 😍😍 pic.twitter.com/gwVB18wwQ5
— Addis Standard (@addisstandard) February 14, 2018