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Four die in Ethiopia prison riots over amnesty

Friday July 27, 2018

Four prisoners have died in northern Ethiopia following days of riots that have seen jails set on fire in several cities.

Angry inmates are demanding to be released under a new amnesty law f or all remaining political prisoners announced on state TV on Monday.

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Many have already been pardoned and released in recent months.

About 2,500 prisoners have been affected in Amhara region by the riots, according to the authorities there.

Two prisoners died and three were injured at one prison in the town of Woldiya following the unrest.

Two people died in the main prison in the northern city of Mekele and several others were injured after a fire broke out following a riot in the prison compound, a BBC reporter in the city says.

Yitbarek Alene, chief commander at the Mekele prison, admitted some prisoners were shot while trying to escape.

He said police were carrying out investigations into whether the two inmates who died had been shot or died in the fire.

The government has condemned the unrest, terming it “illegal".

In a statement, Attorney-General Berhanu Tsegaye said the amnesty law was not applicable to those jailed on corruption and robbery charges.

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