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Ethiopian dissident Andy Tsege pardoned

ETHIOPIAN opposition leader Andargachew Tsege had his death sentence scrapped today, receiving a government pardon after years of violent unrest in the country.

British citizen Mr Tsege, known as Andy, was sentenced to death in absentia in 2009 and arrested in Yemen five years later, from where he was extradited to Ethiopia.

He was the general secretary of opposition group Ginbot 7, which describes itself as a reform movement but is deemed a terrorist organisation by the Ethiopian government.

The country’s Attorney General Bethany Tsegaye confirmed Mr Tsege had been pardoned “under special circumstances” with “the intention of widening the political space.”

He was pardoned along with 575 other prisoners on Saturday.

Mass protests over political rights forced the resignation of prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn in February. He was replaced by former army officer Abiy Ahmed.

Mr Tsege is expected to be released in the next two days. His MP Jeremy Corbyn, who has campaigned for years for his release, tweeted: “Andy Tsege, a British citizen and one of my constituents, has finally been pardoned after four years on death row in Ethiopia. I hope Andy will be released from prison, brought home and reunited with his three children as soon as possible.”

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