10:48 pm - Friday March 23, 2018

Two Ethiopian activists released from prison [Emmanuel Igunza, BBC Africa]

Habtamu Ayalew and his wife - photo by Befeqadu HailuTwo prominent opposition figures in Ethiopia have been released from prison in the capital, Addis Ababa, after months of detention over terrorism charges.

Habtamu Ayalew and Abraham Solomon have been behind bars since July 2014, despite a federal high court acquitting them off the charges last year.

Mr Habtamu, a vocal opposition leader, and Mr Abraham, who is a teacher and activist, were charged under the country’s controversial anti-terrorism law.

Abraham Solomon photo by Befeqadu HailuThey were acquitted mid last year but remained under police custody as the prosecution wanted to appeal.

This process is continuing, despite their release today.

They were accused of belonging to the banned Ginbot 7 group, which the Ethiopian government has designated as a terror movement.

Human rights groups have constantly accused the government of using the anti-terror law to crackdown on the opposition and stifle press freedom.

Felix Horne from US-based Human Rights Watch welcomed the news, saying it was “a positive development that they were finally released, but it’s hardly a victory for justice… They should never have been arrested in the first place”.

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