ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian government said it has decided to release a number of prisoners including Jewar Mohammed, Eskender Nega and Sibhat Nega from prison to create a better political environment for an inclusive national dialogue.
“The government strongly believes that Ethiopia’s problems need to be addressed in a comprehensive dialogical approach,” said the Government Communication Service (GCS) on Friday.
A National Dialogue Commission has been set up to deal with contemporary political issues and unresolved discourses of the country, it said.
“To this end the Ethiopian government took the initiative to pardon some prisoners for the betterment of the political situation,” said the GCS..
Its purpose, it said, is to pave the way for a lasting solution to Ethiopia’s problems “in a peaceful, non-violent way. Especially with the aim of making the all-inclusive national dialogue a success”.
It is believed that those given amnesty have learnt from the past and will hopefully make a better contribution to their country and to the people of Ethiopia, according to the GCS.
Those who are included in the amnesty by the initiative of the government of Ethiopia are;
1. Sibhat Nega
2. kidusan Nega
3. Abay Woldu
4. Abadi Zemu
5. Mulu Gebregziabher
6. Kiros Hagos
7. Jawar Mohammed and all others accused under the same criminal file
8. Eskender Nega and all others accused under the same criminal file; are released from prison.
The release of prisoners by the government on Friday is neither pardon nor amnesty, but termination of proceedings, said Gedion Timothewos, Justice Minister, in an interview he gave to a state-run Ethiopian news agency (ENA) today
The decision to drop the charges in both files was made ahead of the national dialogue in order to make it more inclusive and participatory since the two individuals are political party leaders with many followers, he stated.
Humanity and compassion were also taken into account in the release of first six individuals under the third case file of the terrorist TPLF leader Debretsion Gebremichael.
The legal proceedings of the remaining prisoners will continue as they gave military and political orders, according to the minister. The released prisoners were not also members of the executive committee of TPLF.
The justice minister further explained the need for applying transitional reform framework in the objective reality of Ethiopia instead of the regular justice system.
Resolving the national crises, which are being reflected by the community and no more by the political elite alone, from passing to the coming generation it is crucial to hold dialogue rather than sticking to vindictive justice, Gedion said.