More than 7,000 prisoners will freed in Ethiopia to mark the country’s new year, which will be celebrated on Thursday, according to the country’s state-linked Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC).
Attorney General Berhanu Tsegay has said he is granting pardons to 1,087 inmates from Kaliti, Ziway and Shewa Robit prisons.
Meanwhile, the authorities in two other states – Amhara and Southern Nations,Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region – are freeing a total of 6,695 detainees.
It is not uncommon for prisoners to be released as part of events to mark the new year.
But correspondents say Ethiopia is also keen to show reforms in the prison sector, recently turning a notorious torture chamber – the Maekelawi detention centre in the capital, Addis Ababa – into a museum.
Its opening last week was part of what has been dubbed “a month for justice” to highlight achievements in reforming the justice sector since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018.
The Horn of Africa nation follows a calendar that is about seven years behind the Gregorian calendar, used in much of the rest of the world, and on Thursday it will be the start of 2012 for Ethiopians.