MPs pass landmark amnesty bill
In an extraordinary session held yesterday, the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) passed a landmark bill which will grant amnesty for individuals and groups either under investigation or convicted of treason, crimes against the constitutional order and armed struggle. The bill was passed with one abstention.
The new proclamation – dubbed ‘To Provide Amnesty to Outlaws Who Have Participated in Different Crimes 1096/2010 — was said to be essential to advance the democratization process in Ethiopia by widening the political space in the country.
According to the preamble of the proclamation, the bill will be instrumental in creating national consensus by eradicating hatred and mistrust among one another, and boost social, economic and political development.
As stated in the scope of the provisions, the law will be applicable to persons or organizations suspected of or charged with crimes specifically prescribed under the provision.
In addition, the law will be applicable to anyone who was convicted of various crimes before May 7, 2018.
It was said during the parliamentary deliberation that the bill is important in realizing the ongoing efforts of fostering political consensus and reform launched by the current administration.
Article six of the proclamation introduces a provision regarding confiscation of property. According to this provision, any person who has been granted amnesty shall not have the right to claim property which is confiscated by the order of the court in connection to the case they were charged with before receiving amnesty.
But, any person granted amnesty has a right to live a peaceful life with the community and seek reconciliation on a private capacity, if there is the need, as per the customs or the traditions of each locality.
Unlike most proclamations approved, the latest bill does not need to be published on the Negarit Gazette to be enforced. It is rather effective from the very day of its approval by the House.