After years of widespread protests against government policies, and brutal security force repression, the human rights landscape transformed after Abiy Ahmed became prime minister in April 2018. The government lifted the state of emergency in June and released thousands of political prisoners from detention, including journalists and key opposition leaders. The government admitted that security forces relied on torture, committed to legal reforms of repressive laws and introduced numerous other reforms, paving the way for improved respect for human rights, ahead of national elections scheduled for 2020.