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17 jailed opponents Absolve By Comorian President

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The Comorian President Azali Assoumani absolve 17 jailed opposition figures a day after taking office.

The Secretary General of the main Juwa opposition party , Hassane Ahmed El-Barwane ,was Among those freed in the presidential edict . He was serving 7 years in prison for spanking a soldier.

“Among them, there were those who were sentenced to life imprisonment. Their sentences were reduced to 20 years of imprisonment. For the others, their sentences fluctuated from 15, 10, 15, 20 years.

Mohamed Ismail , who is the Comorian presidential spokesperson said They were totally acquitted but the pardon measures do not concern those who were judged in contumacy

Those whose life sentences were reduced to 20 years include, writer Said Ahmed Said Tourqui and Bahassane Ahmed Said, brother of former vice president Djaffar Ahmed Said, who solicit refuge in France. Fahardine Mohamed is a lawyer for the journalists freed.

He added “We will give opinions later, now we are just happy and we share it with you journalists. It is a joy to you especially and we’ll tell you all we have to say in the coming days. For today, we have no comments,”

All those pardoned were jailed for up to 20 years on charges linked to unrest following a contentious constitutional referendum to extend the president’s term last year.

Azali took the oath of office on Sunday, two months after his contentious re-election. He pledged “appeasement measures” to extirpate allegation of election fraud.

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