2,500 remaining detainees to face charges.
Ethiopia has released 9,800 people detained under its ongoing state of emergency which was introduced to curb violent anti-government demonstrations in the country’s Oromia and Amhara regions.
About 12,500 people were arrested as part of the state of emergency, which was declared on 9 October. The government plans to charge some 2,500 of these on accustation of destabilising the country.
The arrests relate to demonstrations by two of the nation’s largest ethnic groups, the Oromo and Amhara, whose members had been protesting sustained marginalisation since late 2015.
The mass release comes amid growing concerns for the health of those detained and follows pressure from the United Nations, the international community and human rights groups.
Under the emergency legislation, which included curfews and a social media ban, the government sent the detainees to “rehabilitation centres”, without charge.
Announcing their release, government spokesperson Zadig Abraha said the nearly 10,000 detainees had received “lots of trainings that were meant to give them lessons so that they won’t be part of the destructive trend that we have seen in the past.”