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Ethiopia court drops genocide charges against 100 people, releases 25

[JURIST] An Ethiopian court on Monday dropped genocide and treason charges [BBC report] against more than 100 people charged involved in 2005 political protests, and released from prison 25 detainees, including several journalists, after acquitting them on all charges. Finding that the prosecution had failed to prove charges against them, Judge Adil Ahmed ruled against the government and ordered the journalists be immediately released. The detainees were arrested following political protests [JURIST report] in 2005 over allegedly rigged elections, and subsequently charged with attempted genocide, treason and inciting violence. The detainees who remain in prison still face charges of attempting to overthrow the government and crimes against the constitution, and could face the death penalty.

Over 100 journalists, lawmakers and human rights activists were initially charged [JURIST report] following the mass protests, though some were later granted amnesty [JURIST report] by Ethiopian President Girma Woldegiorgis [official profile] in a surprise move in September. Reuters has more.

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