Home | News    Thursday 17 December 2009

Ethiopia grants pardon to former opposition figures


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

December 16, 2009 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Ethiopian government granted pardon to ten while revoked to four former leaders and members of the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD),who were convicted of dismantling the national constitution through force. In statement, the ministry of justice said on Wednesday.

The Ethiopian president, Girma Weldogiorgs approved the grant, after he looked into the recommendations presented by country’s pardon board.

The defendants "requested clemency from the people and the government of Ethiopia". The statement said adding that the Ethiopian Pardon Board examined the request of the defendants thoroughly and considered the preconditions go well along with the rule of law.

The defendants said they "took responsibility individually and collectively for their mutinous move against the constitutional order" the statement from the Ministry of Justice further said.

According to the statement, the now granted former opposition leaders pledged they would "respect the constitution and protect it from any unlawful act."

Meanwhile, the Ministry said that a pardon grant earlier approved to four former CUD leaders and members is revoked after a review was made by the board and recommendation were then presented to the president.

It said the defendants "committed repeated crime and failed to respect their own preconditions when they requested clemency."


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  • 17 December 2009 02:21, by Mohammad100

    Dear all,

    What a conundrum?: "Ethiopia grants pardon to former opposition figures" Please read the Human Rights Watch report:

    ..."Many analysts believe that the incumbent party, the EPRDF, will win the upcoming election. Meles Zenawi, the
    current prime minister, initially stated that he hoped not to run for re-election. In an interview with Reuters,
    Meles stated that he hoped the EPRDF will agree to let him retire from power. Following an EPRDF leadership
    meeting in September 2009, however, it appears Meles intends to stand for re-election. Analysts believe that
    the EPRDF will win the election.
    In the same interview, Meles expressed his desire for a peaceful election. He stated that media air-time and
    public funds for opposition parties, and election monitors from both Ethiopia and abroad should help “level the
    playing-field” and ensure fair elections. It is not clear which countries will aid in election monitoring, but the
    United States has already expressed its intention to support the monitoring in 2010.

    Despite this rhetoric and a projected EPRDF victory, the government has still detained several opposition party
    supporters across the country. For example, the government has reinstated treason charges against Ethiopia’s
    foremost opposition figure and leader of the UDJ, Birtukan Mideksa, who is now in jail. Due to growing human
    rights violations such as this, many opposition leaders have hinted that they may boycott the 2010 elections.

    The Advocates for Human Rights
    conducted reveal the Ethiopian government’s alarming
    disregard for civil and political rights through repeated
    accounts of extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, detentions for long periods with no formal charges,
    inhumane prison conditions, and pressure on the judiciary
    to rule in the government’s favor. The fear engendered by
    the pervasive use of repressive tactics – surveillance,
    arbitrary arrest, prolonged incommunicado detention,
    torture, and extrajudicial execution – has effectively
    weakened political dissent, the independence of the
    judiciary, and civil society. For many of the oppressed Nations in Ethiopia, this repression colors their view of all Ethiopian government action."....

    So what is the meaning of pardon when killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, detentions for long periods with no formal charges, and all sorts of inhumane prison conditions are continuing to be perpetuated on this Nation of Ethiopia with no end in sight? This pardon is meaningless!!!!!


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