Most of the eleven people who were released today had been released from prison earlier this year with dozens of others as the former prime minister tried to open up political space after months of the worst anti-government protests in a quarter-century.

By Elias Meseret (Associated Press) |

ADDIS ABABA— Eleven journalists, politicians and bloggers in Ethiopia who were detained last month for allegedly displaying an outlawed flag and gathering in violation of a state of emergency have been released, a lawyer said Thursday.

Ameha Mekonnen, who represented most of the detained journalists, told The Associated Press that no charges were filed.

Most of the 11 had been released from prison earlier this year with dozens of others as the former prime minister tried to open up political space after months of the worst anti-government protests in a quarter-century. They were detained again late last month as they gathered for a social event outside the capital, Addis Ababa, with family and friends.

Ethiopia’s new prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, was sworn in on Monday, vowing to solve “lots of problems,” amid hopes that he will be able to quell the sustained unrest that has rocked Africa’s second most populous nation.

Among those now freed again are journalists Eskinder Nega and Temesgen Desalegn, politician Andualem Aragie and prominent blogger Befeqadu Hailu.

● Full list of people who were released today: (1) Eskinder Nega, (2) Temesgen Desalegn, (3) Andualem Arage, (4) Addisu Getaneh, (5) Zelalem Workagegnehu, (6) Mahlet Fantahun, (7) Befeqadu Hailu, (8) Woynshet Mola, (9) Yidnekachew Addis, (10) Sentayehu Chekol, and (11) Tefera Tesfaye

Under Ethiopia’s latest state of emergency declared earlier this year, people are prohibited from such gatherings without authorities’ prior knowledge.

Continue reading this story at Associated Press
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