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Ethiopia opposition members freed Print E-mail
Written by BBC   
Sunday, 19 August 2007

CUD Rally

 The Ethiopian authorities have pardoned at least 31 opposition members detained after post-election violence in 2005.

They were jailed along with 38 senior figures - who were freed last month - from the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD).

The CUD accused the government of electoral fraud following the 2005 polls, which saw the opposition party claim its biggest ever gains.

Nearly 200 people were killed in the violence that erupted after the elections two years ago. (Photo from our archives)
Bereket Simon, an advisor to Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, told the Associated Press news agency: "(The freed CUD members) can run for office, they can run their political organisations.

"It is good for Ethiopia because it indicates that the rule of law is respected in Ethiopia."

The BBC's Elizabeth Blunt in Ethiopia says things moved quickly after the government said there would be no pardons until the judicial process was over.

Hoping for a quick release, defendants began to change their plea to guilty and all those who have signed the pardon letter have now been freed, our correspondent says.

The Ethiopian authorities say nearly 200 people were killed in the violence that erupted after the elections two years ago.
Source: BBC  
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