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Ethiopia to release 746 prisoners, including journalist, dissident


REUTERS
ADDIS ABABA
Ethiopia will release 746 more prisoners, including a journalist and a senior opposition official who were jailed for conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, the attorney general's office said on Thursday.
The decision follows a raft of reforms announced by the government to try to reduce tension in the Horn of Africa country, which has been hit by unrest since 2015.
Nearly 6,000 prisoners have been freed since January. Most were detained for alleged involvement in mass protests that broke out three years ago in its Oromiya and Amhara regions over accusations of land grabbing and political marginalisation.
On Thursday, the Federal Attorney General's Office published a list of 746 inmates for pardon, including the journalist Eskinder Nega and opposition politician Andualem Arage.
The names have been forwarded to President Mulatu Teshome, who has the power to grant their freedom, the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation said.
Ethiopia is frequently rebuked by rights groups for cracking down on dissent under the guise of national security concerns. The government rejects the accusations.
Ethiopia has also been hit in the past months by a spate of ethnic clashes that have displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

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