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Ethiopia frees Muslims jailed after protests over religion

11 September 2016, 06:54

Addis Ababa - Ethiopia's chief prosecutor says the country has pardoned hundreds of convicts, among them Muslims jailed under anti-terror laws for opposing what they called government interference in their religion.

Prosecutor-General Getachew Ambaye said Saturday that the president signed the pardon for members of the Muslim groups after they expressed regret.

Getachew says that around 1 000 people have been pardoned ahead of the Ethiopian new year on Sunday and 135 of them were serving a time for terrorism charges and for religious extremism.

Ethiopia handed long jail terms to many Muslims who were involved in months-long protests in 2012, accusing the government of unconstitutionally encouraging a moderate teaching of Islam called Al-Ahbash and dictating the election of community leaders to support it at an Addis Ababa religious school.

- AP


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