Ethiopia has released thousands of protesters who were detained during the ongoing state of emergency.

By Salem Solomon (VOA News) |

People detained in Awash, Alage, Bir Sheleko and Tolay centers will be allowed to return home after receiving “training,” according to the state-owned Fana Broadcasting Corporation. This includes 4,035 people released from a center in the Tolay region of southwest Ethiopia. These prison locations are unofficial centers mostly located at military camps.

Earlier this week, Ethiopian officials announced that 9,800 people arrested during the state of emergency would be released and 2,449 others would be arraigned in court.

Speaking to a group of released prisoners at Tolay, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn reminded them they are free to protest, but not to resort to violence.

“You might have disagreements, be it with the government or government administration, and that is your right. No one can deprive you of this right. It is a right enshrined in the constitution,” he said.

“So,” he continued, “if tomorrow you have questions, you have the right to ask in a peaceful and civilized way. Therefore, if there is anything that is prohibited, it is to try and ask questions and look for answers using force, creating chaos and rebellion and you will pay a price for that.”

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