Ethiopian opposition leader condemns government, just hours after pardon and release – The Associated Press

July 20th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia: Ethiopia’s opposition leader condemned the government Friday, just hours after he and 37 others were pardoned and released from jail, saying he signed a formal apology under duress. (more…)

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia: Ethiopia’s opposition leader condemned the government Friday, just hours after he and 37 others were pardoned and released from jail, saying he signed a formal apology under duress.

Hailu Shawel, leader of the main opposition party, said that he had no apology to make for protesting 2005 election results because, “for us it is a normal political protest.”

The government has failed to fulfill all the conditions agreed to with mediators for the release of the opposition politicians and activists, such as allowing them take their seats in parliament, Hailu told journalists at his home, which was crowded with relatives who had come to welcome home after almost two years in jail.

“As a leader you have to compromise somewhere along the line. But the government has already reneged on what they said,” Hailu said.

He said that he and others wrote the apology letter to secure their release because, “there are people who had small children with no parents. There is a woman who had three children with nobody” to look after them.

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