The Ethiopian Ministry of Justice Pardon Board announced Monday that over 1950 prisoners, including two Swedish journalists, Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye, who have been imprisoned in Ethiopia for more than a year, have been pardoned and will be freed at an upcoming mass amnesty ceremony.The two Swedes were serving 11 year sentences for illegally crossing the Ethiopian boarder and supporting the terrorist activities of the ONLF. They were captured in July 2011 with fighters from the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in eastern Ethiopia.
The decision to pardon the two was approved while the late Prime Minster Meles Zenawi was still in office as part of the regular grant of pardons given at the New Year.
Ethiopia’s Pardon and Amnesty law allows prison inmates to be granted a pardon when they have shown sincere regret for the crimes for which they were jailed and demonstrated good behavior in the correction facility.
If the plea for pardon is accepted and approved by the President, pardon is granted. (ERTA)