Free at last, Ethiopia releases opposition leader Merera Gudina

Addis Ababa, January 17, 2018 (GMN) - Jailed Ethiopian opposition leader Merera Gudina has been freed after more than a year in detention. Prison authorities told his family that he was released on Wednesday morning and allowed to go back home.

He has been in prison since December 2016 and was facing multiple charges, including association with terrorist groups. The Ethiopian government announced on Monday that it would drop charges against more than 500 suspects.

Earlier this month, the government said it would pardon and drop the cases against several convicted politicians and those with cases in court, in order to foster national cohesion.

The announcement followed more than two years of anti-government protests that have rocked the country, with demonstrators calling for political and economic reforms and an end to state corruption and human rights abuses.

Ethiopia has always denied that there were any political prisoners in the country, as alleged by human rights and opposition groups. (AP)