Ethiopia – On Friday, the journalist, blogger, and founder of the Balderas for Genuine Democracy party was released. Eskinder Nega had been held in a maximum-security prison in Addis Ababa for more than a year.
Eskinder Nega’s release was reported on the Facebook website of his political party, The Balderas for Genuine Democracy, on Friday. There was a photo of the 52-year-old man smiling outside the Kality prison with a coworker with whom he was imprisoned, with fist pumps. He had been held in a maximum-security prison in Addis Ababa for over a year.
Following the assassination of popular Oromo musician Hachalu Hundessa, numerous leading opposition activists were imprisoned in July 2020, following deadly protests in the city and neighboring Oromia region. His outspoken activism had already landed him in jail.
Other important personalities were also pardoned, notably Jawar Mohammed, the media mogul turned opposition politician from the Oromo Federalist Congress. The Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, released a Christmas statement calling for “national reconciliation” the day before the news broke.