By Seleshi Tessema
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Ethiopia announced Wednesday that it would free all political prisoners and close down its notorious prison house.
Speaking to local media, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said: "The government will drop all charges levelled against the prisoners."
He added that Maekelawi -- a prison house and torture chamber -- in the heart of capital Addis Ababa would be transformed into a museum.
Desalegn said the move would bring some respite to the two years of anti-government protests in Oromia, the largest and most populous region in the country.
Ethiopia's opposition and human rights groups have been accusing the government of violating human rights.
Until Wednesday, the Ethiopian government had denied having political prisoners.