Home | News    Tuesday 11 September 2012

Ethiopia frees prisoners, two Swedes for the New Year

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

September 10, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) - Addis Ababa on Monday announced that it has granted pardons to more than 1,950 Ethiopian prisoners, including two Swedish journalists imprisoned on terror charges, ahead of Ethiopian New Year, which this year falls on Tuesday, 11 September.

JPEG - 72.9 kb
Ethiopian President, Girma Woldegiorgisse

Ethiopia’s Oromia region has also freed over 4,700 prisoners to mark the on New Year.

The two Swedes, reporter Martin Schibbye and photographer Johan Persson, were jailed on July 1st, 2011 while they attempted to illegally cross into Ethiopia from Somalia along with rebels from the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a group which Addis Ababa designates it as terrorist organization.

The Swedes were sentenced to 11 years on charges of engaging in terrorist activities, promoting and aiding a terrorist group, and also on entering the country illegally.

The two men were freed after spending nearly fifteen months behind bars.

Ethiopian President, Girma Woldegiorgisse, signed the amnesty and the grants were made to those who have shown sincere regret for the crimes they committed and to those who behaved well in the correction facility.

It is speculated that the presence of Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Bildt at the funeral ceremony held for the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on 2 September might have created a good opportunity leading to their pardon grant.

However, Ethiopian authorities said the grant was already an approved before Zenawi passed away.

“The decision to pardon the two Swedes was approved while the late Prime Minster Meles Zenawi was still in office as part of the regular grant of pardons given at the New Year”, according to Ethiopia’s Ministry of Justice.

Zenawi has in the past said that the Swedes were "at the very least messenger boys of a terrorist organization”. The former PM’s remarks brought criticisms from human rights and press freedom organizations, who protested against such remarks being made while the case was in process.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


The influence of facetious leaders in South Sudan 2018-12-03 18:44:28 By Daniel Abushery Daniel It's like that old saying, "Everybody's talking about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it:" Public consultation is essential and healthy where there are (...)

Will Khartoum peace agreement bring reform or maintain tyranny? 2018-12-01 05:41:01 By Duop Chak Wuol Known for operating with a vicious precision, his trademark is ruthlessness, and how he manoeuvres his political rivals is irrefutably effective. Salva Kiir, the man in (...)

US-Sudanese relations: moths to the fire 2018-11-25 11:07:23 By Muhammad Osman & Magdi el Gizouli The rapprochement between Sudan and the U.S. progresses with the pace of an anxious flirtation. Less than two years since it began in 2015, that (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Progress observed at end of second month of R-ARCSS implementation 2018-10-22 06:44:02 Press Release 21 October 2018 South Sudanese government released 24 detainees in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) (...)

4th Annual Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum Announced for 25th October 2018 2018-10-15 12:38:14 PRESS RELEASE OCTOBER 14, 2018 Africa’s leading entrepreneurship-focused philanthropic organisation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has announced October 25, 2018, as the date for its (...)

Unity State community in Kenya supports Khartoum peace agreement 2018-08-17 08:33:21 PRESS STATMENT 14th Aug, 2018 Re: We shall Rally behind Khartoum Peace Agreement The Unity State Community Association in Kenya was established in 2010 to organize and mobilize the people of (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2018 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.