The United Nations has welcomed the positive political moves undertaken by the Ethiopian government after it released a number of detained politicians earlier this week.
The U.N. however said there was more to be done in the area of freeing more more detainees and the need to rework anti-terror laws and other legislations that unduly targeted the media and activists.
According to a U.N. human rights spokesperson, Liz Throssell, Ethiopia was at a critical juncture and the U.N. was ready to offer help in any way. “We do think that Ethiopia is at a key moment and that’s why we are saying that we stand ready to help Ethiopia,” Throssell said.
These are positive developments. We urge the government to continue to take steps to release individuals detained for expressing their political views.
“These are positive developments. We urge the government to continue to take steps to release individuals detained for expressing their political views,” Throssell added.
The government announced in early January that it was set to discontinue cases against some political detainees and to release them as a means of fostering national unity. Of the over 100 released this week, Merera Gudina, a former lawmaker was the highest profile personality.
Gudina, leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) was arrested in late 2016 and spent over 400 days before his release.
Gudina was charged with terrorism before it was downgraded to multiple criminal charges. He is said to have met anti-government forces during a trip to Brussels.
He denied the charges during his trial and reiterated his stance after release. He has said he is ready for dialogue with the government.