ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia’s northern Tigray regional state on Thursday announced it has pardoned 2,111 detainees. The pardons will mean the detainees would be free people in the coming few days.
The statement didn’t mention the identity of the prisoners or the charges they were imprisoned for.
The regional ruling party, Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF), said the pardons are timed to coincide with the Tigray martyrs’ day held annually on June 22, reported local media outlet Radio Fana.
The Tigray martyrs day commemorates a bloody air attack on marketgoers in Hawzen city, Tigray regional state on June 22, 1988 by forces of ex-Ethiopian President Mengistu Hailemariam.
The air attack on the city controlled at the time by TPLF was one of the most gruesome episodes of the Ethiopia civil war from 1975 to 1991.
The civil war ended in May 28, 1991 when a rebel coalition Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), dominated by TPLF, captured Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa ending Hailemariam’s reign.