Ethiopia’s government has grated pardon to more than 7,000 prisoners to mark the country’s new year.
Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC), the state broadcaster reported that 1,087 inmates from Kaliti, Ziway and Shewa Robit prisons are to be freed.
In two other states – Amhara and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region extra 6,695 detainees are to be freed.
Ethiopia’s Attorney General Berhanu Tsegay said he was granting pardons to these prisoners for the New Year to be marked on Thursday.
Ethiopia follows a calendar that is about seven years behind the Gregorian calendar.
Unlike much of the rest of the world, Thursday will be the start of 2012 for Ethiopians.
It is not uncommon for prisoners to be released as part of events to mark the new year.
Some analysts consider the move part of ongoing reforms in Ethiopia’s prisons system.
In the past the country has had notorious torture chambers in prisons including the Maekelawi detention centre in the capital, Addis Ababa.
But it has now been turned into a museum after the former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced it’s closure.
Many political prisoners were released in 2018 when the centre was closed.
The centre was reopened last week as a museum as part of “a month for justice” initiative by the government.