Ethiopian opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa has been freed from jail.

Her release comes four months after the government’s landslide win in elections.

She was one of several opposition leaders imprisoned for life after the 2005 poll. They were later pardoned, but Ms Birtukan was rearrested for violating the terms of her release.

“I am very relieved,” she told the BBC at her home in the capital, where crowds had gathered to welcome her.

Birtukan Mideksa freed
Birtukan Mideksa is one of Ethiopia's most prominent and popular opposition leaders

Ms Birtukan said she had been freed because she had applied for a pardon.

“Prison by itself is a very horrible place, especially for me the time I spent alone,” she said.

“Now I am free, I am back to my family and my daughter, I am very elated.”

The BBC’s Uduak Amimo in Addis Ababa says hundreds of her supporters began cheering and singing when they she arrived home in a car accompanied by her mother and young daughter.

Ms Birtukan is a former judge and was one of the younger and more charismatic leaders of the coalition that did well against the ruling party in the 2005 elections.

 Birtukan Mideksa speaks to reporters from the window of a prison van after being freed from prison in Addis Ababa  Photo: REUTERS
Birtukan Mideksa speaks to reporters from the window of a prison van after being freed from prison in Addis Ababa Photo: REUTERS

Meles Zenawi was sworn in for his fourth five-year term as prime minister on Monday, following his party’s overwhelming victory in May.

But European Union and US observers said the polls fell short of international standards.

ETV  News

Birtukan Mideksa supporters greeting her


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  1. በጣም ደስ ይላል የታሰረችበትን ምክንያት ባላውቅም ግን የህፃን ልጅ እናት ነች
    እግዚአብሔር ደጉ ጌታ በሰላም ከልጇ እና ከእናትዋ ጋር እንድትቀላቀል ፈቃዱ ስለሆነ ይክበር ይመስገን!!!
    በጣም ደስ ብሎኛል እንኳን ደስ አለሽ ብርቱካን !!!!!!
    እመቤቴ ማርያም በምንገድሽ ላይ ትከተልሽ ትጠብቅሽ !!!!

  2. Yihuna al taliyan! we all know the truth behind the curtain.
    may be there is one TPLF thug under the chair pointing a gun at lady

  3. finaly she is free n stop pushin her.we all c woyanie don’t give a s##t about a diaspora crying for her realese n let her live her life.

  4. Unnamed government officials confirm her release “There was no bargaining. This is purely a magnanimous act by the government,” said one unnamed government official haughtily to local papers.An obvious attempt to dampen the celebratory mood. (Won’t work, guys!!! She is a heroine in the eyes of millions! Give it up!!)

    Birtukan is finally FREE! Accorded a hero’s welcome.

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