Ethiopia: Parliament Gives Amnesty to Political Dissidents

Ethiopia's parliament.

Parliament has legislated the amnesty proclamation with one objection and one vote abstaining.

The proclamation gives amnesty to accused, implicated, charged or sentenced dissidents and allows them to return to Ethiopia and to take part in political activities. However, the legislation does not give amnesty to those involved in criminal activities such as ethnic cleansing, murder, kidnapping and torture.

The proclamation was tabled last Friday, at an extraordinary session called after parliament had gone on recess. About 304 members attended the hearing. Law & Justice Affairs Standing Committee tabled the proclamation after reviewing and deliberating it.

The amnesty cancels and drops all changes against those convicted of the crimes within a six-month time period.

Ethiopia has dropped charges against opposition figures, broadcasters, bloggers and rebels who were charged with different crimes.

Two weeks ago, the parliament removed Patriotic Ginbot 7, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) from the terrorist group list.

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