By ZEKARIAS SINTAYEHU
Among the 23 Derg higher officials, who were convicted for crime against humanity and put into jail from life imprisonment to death penalty, 16 of them were released yesterday from Kaliti penitentiary Facility.
Those 16 Derg higher officials convicted of crime against humanity and jailed for the past 20 years were freed on parole.
Of the freed higher officials, the former Derg Prime Minister, Major Fikire Sillasie Wegderes, Vice President, Colonel Fiseha Desta, Major Legese Asfaw, Colonel Endale Tesema, Major General Wubshet Desei, Lieutenant Colonel Nadew Zekarias, Sergeant Petros Gebre, Sergeant Sileshi Menesha, Captain Dejene Wondimagegnew, Eshetu Shenkute, Lisanu Mola, Brigadier General Legese Belayneh, Gesgis Gebre Meskel, Abebe Eshetu, Berihun Mamo and Major Desalegn Belay. The Reporter has learnt that the rest of the officials will be released when they serve 20 years of jail service.
Last year in the month of December, a group of religious leaders from the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Eyseus, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church, Ethiopian Catholic Church and Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council, has undergone national reconciliation and reunion for the Derg officials who were convicted of crime against humanity.
At that time, the religious leaders disclosed that the officials have requested for a pardon from God, the public and the government, admitting that they have involved in criminal activity. But the religious leaders were defied by various parties especially who were victims of the regime. It was recalled that the Security Minister, Colonel Tesfaye Wolde Sillasie passed away at Kaliti penitentiary Facility.