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Startseite Urgent Actions 2020 03 Activists arrested for organising protests Activists released but charges still pending
FI 036/20-3
Niger
Aktiv seit 9. Oktober 2020 | Noch 33 Tage Laufzeit

Activists released but charges still pending

AI-Index: AFR 43/3192/2020

On 29 and 30 September, a Niamey Court senior judge granted the provisional release of activists, Maikoul Zodi, Moudi Moussa and Halidou Mounkaila. However, the fabricated charges against them – which are in connection to their demands for accountability in a protest in March 2020– are still pending. They therefore remain at risk of wrongful conviction and arbitrary detention. Amnesty International urges the Nigerien authorities to immediately drop all charges against them.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

On 13 March, the Niger authorities published a statement from the Council of Ministers concerning measures being taken to combat the spread of COVID-19, including a ban on all gatherings likely to attract more than 1,000 people. A demonstration was already planned to take place on 15 March in Niamey and other cities by civil society organisations to demand an investigation into the allegations of misuse of funds revealed by an audit of the Ministry of Defence. Despite the ban, the organisers went ahead with the demonstrations. In the early hours of 15 March, security forces blocked all the roads leading to the planned venue for the protest, the «Place de la Concertation» in Niamey. At least three individuals died when the demonstration was violently broken up by security forces using tear gas. Significant damage was recorded as several shops were set on fire near the Tagabati market. The 6 activists were arrested and detained. Karim Tanko was released provisionally on 19 April, and Moussa Tchangari and Habibou Soumaila on 30 April.

The human rights situation in Niger will be reviewed at the next session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (13 November-3 December 2020) and at the 38th session of the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council (3 ay-14 May 2021).

Take action

  • Write an appeal in your own words or use the model letter below.
  • Please take action before 4 December 2020.
  • Preferred language: French. You can also write in your own language.
  • INFO COVID-19: Mail delivery
    It is possible to send PRIORITY letters to almost all countries. Please check on the Website of the Swiss Post, in the Transit restrictions whether letters are currently being delivered to the destination country. If not, we ask you to use other communication channels - email, fax or social media, if available - for the delivery of your appeal and/or send it via the embassy with the request for forwarding to the named person.

Model letter

Your Excellency,

I welcome the news that activists, Maikoul Zodi, Halidou Mounkaila and Moudi Moussa were provisionally released from detention on 29 and 30 September by a Niamey Court. However, I remain concerned that the charges against them and other civil society leaders- including Moussa Tchangari, Habibou Mounkaila and Karim Tanko who were also arbitrarily detained and have since been released - are still pending.

All six activists were arbitrarily detained and charged for unauthorized gathering, complicity in damaging public property, arson and manslaughter, following a protest that they organised in Niamey, Niger’s capital, on 15 March, demanding an investigation into the allegations of misuse of funds by the Ministry of Defence.

Amnesty International believes the charges against the activists have been fabricated to undermine the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of assembly and expression, and their demands for accountability.

In light of the above, I urge you to:

  • End the prosecution of the six activists and ensure the charges against them are immediately dropped.
  • Ensure an independent, impartial, thorough and effective investigation into the deaths during the demonstration on 15 March is carried out, to bring the suspected perpetrators to justice, with due regard for the right to a fair trial.
  • Protect the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression in Niger in this pre-electoral period.
  • Put an end to harassment, intimidation and attacks against members of civil society.

Yours sincerely

Appeals to

M. Marou Amadou
Minister of Justice
Boulevard du Djermaganda BP 466
Niamey
Niger

Email: marou_amadou2000@yahoo.fr
Fax: + 227 20 73 34 30

Salutation: Your Excellency,

 

 

Copies to

Ambassade de la République du Niger
Avenue de France 23
1202 Genève

Fax: 022 979 24 51
E-mail: missionduniger1@gmail.com

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