Reacting to the arrests of President Mohamed Bazoum, Interior Minister Hama Amadou Souley and other political leaders, Habibatou Gologo, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa, said:
Amnesty International is calling on the new authorities in Niger to 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 since 26 July.
“The Niger authorities must urgently protect and respect human rights. No one should be arrested and detained without a legal basis.
“The new arrest of the Oil Minister, Sani Mahamadou, the President of the Parti nigérien pour la démocratie et le socialisme, Foumakoye Gado, and his chief of staff, Karsani Bachirou, on 30 July, shows that arbitrary arrests are continuing. They must be released immediately.”
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, Colonel Major 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 (CNSP).
Negotiations are underway between the coup plotters and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) envoy regarding the rehabilitation of President Bazoum, who is still being held by the presidential guard.
Amnesty International recalls that 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.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Amnesty International.