Ethiopia pardons thousands of prisoners amid New Year celebrations

ADDIS ABABA, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) — Ethiopia has granted amnesty for thousands of prisoners on the occasion of the Ethiopian New Year.

On Monday, Ethiopia’s largest Oromia regional state granted amnesty for 6,655 prisoners who have demonstrated good manners whilst in detention.

Other Ethiopian regional states had pardoned a large number of prisoners earlier this month in connection with the recently celebrated Ethiopian New Year, which started on September 11.

Ethiopia’s Southern SNNP region pardoned over 3,000 prisoners, while the second largest northwestern Amhara region granted amnesty for over 1,980 prisoners ahead of the New Year earlier this month. Tigray region was also the third state that granted some 957 prisoners earlier this month.

Administrators of the three regional states have urged the pardoned individuals to embrace peaceful and productive livelihood while rejoining the community in the just started Ethiopian New Year.

Ethiopia has a unique calendar deriving from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church traditions whereby the country counts its annual year seven to eight years, based on leap year, behind the internationally acclaimed Gregorian calendar. Accordingly, the Ethiopian New Year that falls on September 11, 2017 will be 2010.

The amnesty was granted as part of the east African country’s 10-day nationwide New Year celebrations, which started from September 1, 2017, to usher in the Ethiopian New Year.

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