Ethiopia drops terror, other charges against Swedish doctor

2018-05-11 20:00
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ethiopia has dropped terrorism and other charges against a Swedish doctor who had been accused of corruption and orchestrating a prison fire, the state-owned Ethiopian News Agency reported on Friday.

The Ethiopian-born Fikru Maru has been freed, prominent blogger and former detainee Befkadu Hailu confirmed to The Associated Press.

The Swedish foreign ministry in March raised Fikru's case with Ethiopia's ambassador. The Swedish Embassy declined to comment on Friday.

Fikru's lawyer in Sweden, Hans Bagner, tells public Swedish radio that "It's about time. It has been a long and very strenuous exercise." His daughter, Emy Maru, told Swedish radio SR that "it does not feel real yet. ... I won't be fully happy before I have him next to me."

The doctor was arrested in 2013 after a years-long dispute over equipment for his cardiology clinic in the capital, Addis Ababa. The terrorism charge came years later after he and others were accused of starting a deadly fire in the Qilinto prison where they were held.

Ethiopia has released several thousand inmates, including prominent opposition figures and journalists, since former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn promised in January to free members of political parties after more than a year of anti-government protests.

Several thousands of others have been freed since the ruling party installed new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed early last month.

The East African nation is the continent's second most populous country and a key security ally of the West but often has been accused by rights groups and activists of having a heavy-handed approach to dissent.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook


Read more on:    ethiopia  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.