Ethiopia promises to free all of its political prisoners, close notorious jail

Hailemariam Desalegn.
(Image credit: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced Wednesday that the country plans on freeing and pardoning all political prisoners, in an attempt to "foster national reconciliation."

Ethiopia has never publicly admitted to having any political prisoners, NPR reports. Desalegn said those who are already under arrest and facing prosecution will be released, and the "notorious prison cell that was traditionally called Maekelawi will be closed down and turned into a museum." The detention center "essentially functioned as a torture chamber," Amnesty International's Fisseha Tekle told NPR, "used by the Ethiopian authorities to brutally interrogate anybody who dares to dissent including peaceful protestors, journalists, and opposition figures."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us