The 32nd regular session of Ethiopian parliament ratified yesterday draft bill on amnesty. It was Law and Justice standing committee in the parliament that proposed the bill.
The parliament approved with a majority vote and only one abstain vote was recorded.
The amnesty legislation is in effect since the day it was approved, i. e since yesterady.
The legislation regulates amnesty process for convicts related to cases of treason, violence, inciting violence against the government and “political crimes” – among others.
The new law, however, seems to make exceptions. Criminals convicted of genocide, extrajudicial killings, forced abduction/kidnapping and committing inhuman torture and beating will not benefit from the legislation.
According to Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation(EBC), the Federal government amnesty law will also weigh the impact of the crime on the sovereignty of Ethiopia upon considering a criminal for an amnesty.
In a related development, prime minister Abiy’s administration formed Law and Justice Council – apparnetly as part of the effort to undertake reform measures to the justice system in the country.
State media cited the Federal Attorney General, Berhanu Tsegaye, to report that the council is responsible to identify challenges/problems and gaps within the justice system and advise the government. The council will exist for three years.
Reforming the legal system is informed by the need to promote good governance and rule of law in the country.
Lack of independence of the justice system and egregious human rights violations have been the hallmarks of the administration which Ethiopians resisted relentlessly for well over two decades. Remarkable improvements are observed in that direction since Abiy Ahmed became president some three months ago which explains why Ethiopians even with a different political conviction are supporting Abiy Ahmed’s government.
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