Canada Welcomes Release of Birtukan Mideksa

(No. 326 - October 6, 2010 - 7:45 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement welcoming the release of Ethiopian opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa:

“Canada is pleased that the Government of Ethiopia has pardoned and released Birtukan Mideksa. We see this as a positive step toward greater political freedom in Ethiopia.

“Ethiopia is a richly diverse country, and this is best reflected through a vibrant political dialogue. Ms. Birtukan’s voice—and that of other political leaders—is important to Ethiopia’s democratic development. Her release is welcome, and we look forward to the Ethiopian government’s efforts to build upon this constructive measure.”

Ms. Birtukan was imprisoned following Ethiopia’s post-election violence in 2005. Although she received a pardon and was released in 2008, she was subsequently reimprisoned.

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Melissa Lantsman
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

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Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada