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Amnesty International Urges Release of Jailed Ethiopian Protesters


A leading human rights group has called on Ethiopia to release 76 people accused of treason and other charges for protesting national elections last year.

In a statement, Amnesty International said the detainees were "prisoners of conscience" and included opposition leaders, journalists and human rights activists.

The London-based group also expressed doubt about the government's promise that the accused would receive fair trials.

The Ethiopian government has charged 129 people with treason and plotting to overthrow the government in connection with election protests.

U.S. officials have criticized the crackdown and called for the release of those jailed for taking part in protests.

U.S. lawmaker Chris Smith also called on Ethiopia's government to fully investigate reports that security forces fired on the marches.