Gov’t to Review, Release Suspects to Expand Democratic Space, Says PM Abiy

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ENA,February 19/202 Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed has instructed the Attorney General to review and expedite the cases of all detained persons, except those charged with corruption and criminal offenses, so as to release them in order to expand the democratic space.

The premier stated that the review and dropping of cases does not include individuals accused of committing corruption and criminal offenses before of the reform.

The decision was made yesterday during the discussion PM Abiy held with leaders of Tigray Branch of Prosperity Party.

According to Abiy, the decision is aimed at reinforcing the ongoing efforts to widen the political space in the country.  

During the discussion, Representative of Tigray Branch PP leaders Dr. Abraham Belay stated that there is widespread rumor that many Tigryans were detained unfairly due to their ethnicity. Though not justifiable, it would be in the best interest of the country to consider the cases, he added.

The prime minister who pointed out that arrests have been made from all parts of the country, irrespective of their ethnicity, and noted that the federal government does not have any intention to favor or harm one group over another.

He dismissed the are rumors as baseless and divisive, saying that his government is not working to undermine the benefits of Tigray.  

“Any development that discriminates Tigray Regional State does not  ensure  a  prosperous  Ethiopia. Therefore, the rumor is totally baseless and fabricated.”     

However, Abiy said associating criminals with their ethnicity hurts the country as detainees are apprehended from all parts of the country and they will be  released based on the legal procedures.

The prisoners will be released to uphold the sustainability of the reform as well as widen the political space since it confirmed that they are free from charges of breaching law and human rights violation.

Meanwhile, Nigusu Tilahun, Press Secretariat of the PM Office who attended the meeting similarly raised questions about individuals detained on suspicion of conflicts in Amhara Regional State and asked the prime minister to consider their cases.

Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed finally instructed the Attorney General to review and expedite the cases of all detained persons in the country, except those charged with corruption and criminal offenses, so as to release them in order to expand the democratic space.