Ethiopia: Top UN rights chief hails release of political prisoners

Ethiopia: Top UN rights chief hails release of political prisoners

Louise Arbour
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today welcomed the recent pardon and release of over three dozen political leaders and activists in Ethiopia and urged fair proceedings for dozens of other defendants still on trial.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today welcomed the recent pardon and release of over three dozen political leaders and activists in Ethiopia and urged fair proceedings for dozens of other defendants still on trial.

“The pardons by the Government of Ethiopia are commendable,” Louise Arbour said in a statement released in Geneva on last Friday's of action concerning 38 persons.

“They are significant for what they represent in terms of the expansion of the democratic space in Ethiopia and prospects for national reconciliation.”

The trials of another 67 defendants held on charges similar to those previously leveled against the pardoned activists are set to resume on 25 July and 29 October, according to the statement.

The High Commissioner voiced hope the trials of these individuals “will abide by international standards of due process and be concluded in a timely fashion.”