Eskinder Nega and Andualem Arage to Be Freed

Photo: International Press Institute
Ethiopian journalist  Eskinder Nega.

Addis Standard – 8 Feb 2018 The state-affliated media organisation FanaBC is reporting that the Ethiopian government pardoned 746 Prisoners, including Eskinder Naga and Andualem Arage.

About 417 are inmates at federal prisons, jailed for terrorism, inciting violence, religious extremism & related convictions, according to the attorney general.

“The prisoners will join the society after the President approved their list to be tabled by the Board of Pardon as well as receiving rehabilitation training,” FanaBC reported.

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Posted by on February 8, 2018. Filed under NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

One Response to Eskinder Nega and Andualem Arage to Be Freed

  1. Shukana Mankia Reply

    February 10, 2018 at 9:02 PM

    I think Eskinder Nega and others who refused to sign which appear to be “application forms for pardon” have put the government at a difficult spot. In fact, it is a continuation of the resistance against its rule by other means.

    The government wants to release the prisoners and declare another success in what it calls national political dialogue and widening the political space.

    But the modalities of the release of Eskinder Nega and others have not been figured out when the political decsion to release was made. It was not, for example, clear if it was conditional or not conditional.

    With the request to sign what seemed to be “application forms for pardon” the government appeared backtracking on its promise to release. Is it or is it not? For now, it appears backtracking.

    Most people I know think the forms Eskinder Nega and others like him are asked to sign are “application forms for pardon” and they refused to sign because of what the forms entail.

    Articles of our Criminal Code dealing with pardon provide that “a sentence may be remitted in whole or in part or commuted into a penalty of lesser nature or gravity by an act of pardon of the competent authority.” However, pardon cannot “cancel the sentence . . . which remains in the judgment register of the criminal and continues to produce its other effects”. Pardon can also be revoked leaving the relesed in precarous situation for years to come.

    I feel that Eskinder Nega and others who pleaded not guilty and defended themselves in court refused to apply for pardon which does not cancel the sentence they were given which might curtail their civil and political rights as citizens. On top of that, they might want the government to admit that they are victims of miscarrage of justice and make a correction to the injustice they faced. If they take pardon, these are not possible.

    The other alternative is amnesty which is also dealt with in our Criminal Code. In simple terms, an amnesty bars or discontinues any prosecution from the moment of it is granted. When a sentence has been passed an amnesty cancels it as well as all its other consequences under the law. The conviction shall be presumed to be non-existent and the entry deleted from the judgment register of the criminal.

    Compared to pardon, amnesty is a better option for Eskinder Nega and the other prisoners being considered for release. Still, amnesty is not similar to unconditional release which amounts to admission of miscarrage of justice on the part of the government and the opératives of the criminal justice system.

    It is not clear if Eskinder Nega and others who opposed to sign the musterious forms oppose both pardon and amnesty and demand unconditional release.

    In case of impsse, it won’t be bad to consider Amnesty since it does not curtail civil and political rights of the released. In any case, the country is chnging for the better and in few months the discussion whether pardon or amnesty is best might be renedered caduc.

    Good luck, folks!

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