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Niger: New authorities must stop illegal detentions and arbitrary arrests

© ORTN / Tele Sahel / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In response to the arrests of President Mohamed Bazoum, Interior Minister Hama Amadou Souley and other political leaders, Habibatou Gologo, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for West and Central Africa, said:

“The Niger authorities must urgently protect and respect human rights. No one should be arrested and detained without a legal basis.

“The new arrests of political leaders yesterday shows that arbitrary arrests are continuing. Anyone arrested has the right to know the reasons for their arrest, to have access to a lawyer, to be brought before a judge within a reasonable time and to challenge the legality of their detention.

“We are calling on the new authorities in Niger to immediately release not only President Mohamed Bazoum and his family, but also the Minister of the Interior and all others who have been arbitrarily arrested and detained.”

Niger coup

On 26 July, Niger's presidential guard, led by General Abdourahmane Tchiani, staged a coup and arrested President Mohamed Bazoum. In a message broadcast on national TV, General Amadou Abdramane declared that they had overthrown President Mohamed Bazoum, suspended Niger's Constitution and created the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland.

Negotiations are underway between those who staged the coup and the Economic Community of West African States envoy regarding the rehabilitation of President Bazoum, who is still being held by the presidential guard.

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