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The release from prison of political leaders and activists in Ethiopia, including Dr. Merera Gudina, and the decision of the Ethiopian Government to assign a Task Force to look into the possible extension of the measure to additional individuals, are important steps in widening political space in Ethiopia. In this context the announcement of the closure of the Maekelawi detention centre is another positive development. Freedom of expression and right to assembly are crucial components of a democratic society.
Within the framework of the EU Ethiopia Strategic Engagement, the EU continues to encourage the Government to address the grievances raised by the protestors, notably through an inclusive and constructive dialogue with the opposition and civil society. The revision of the relevant legislative frameworks, such as the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and the Electoral Law, are also essential elements of the reform process.