Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed

The determination of the Ethiopian government to reform has seen the country granting pardon to more than 13,000 people previously charged with or convicted of terrorism and treason over the past six months.

According to the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation, the country’s Parliament had in July passed a law allowing people convicted or facing charges of treason, crime against the constitutional order and armed struggle to apply for pardon.

“More than 13,200 individuals took advantage of the law in the past six months. A total of 13,200 people have since been handed certificates of pardon,” Fana Broadcasting Corporation said on Tuesday, citing Ethiopia’s Attorney General.

The previous government had said around 30,000 people, including students, opposition leaders, journalists and bloggers were in detention following widespread protests which broke out in 2015.

The country’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed who took office in April following more than two years of anti-government unrest which led to hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of arrests has since won over many Ethiopians by releasing jailed dissidents and welcoming home banned groups.

In addition to the release of political prisoners and promising a free and fair election in 2012, the parliament in June legalized two secessionist groups – the Oromo Liberation Front and the Ogaden National Liberation Front as well as the exiled opposition movement, ‘Ginbot 7’, all previously considered terrorist groups.

The government is currently discussing with opposition politicians and civil society groups to make amendments to the anti-terrorism law.