News: Civil Society Arrests in Niger
July 23, 2018.
July 24, 2018
Nigerien activists released after 4 months in prison, but challenges continue. 15 Activists Freed, At Least 8 Remain Jailed
Today, fifteen members of civil society were released following their arrest and imprisonment four months ago for protesting against a new Finance Law in Niger. One of the released civil society leaders is Ali Idrissa, coordinator of PWYP – Niger, board member of Publish What You Pay, and coordinator of the Niamey-based civil society organization ROTAB. While Publish What You Pay welcomes the news that fifteen members will be released today, concerns remain about the state of civic space in Niger and ongoing persecution of members of civil society.
July 10, 2018
Today, on the first day of their trial, the public prosecutor sought three years in prison for the following three civil society leaders. The final decision is expected by the judge on July 24, 2018.
- Ali Idrissa , Coordinator of ROTAB, Publish What You Pay – Niger
- Nouhou Arzika , President of Mouvement patriotique pour une citoyenneté responsable (Patriotic Movement for Responsible Citizenship – MPCR)
- Moussa Tchangari, General Secretary of Alternative Espace Citoyens (Alternative Citizens’ Space – AEC)
March 25, 2018
Twenty-three people were arrested during a non-authorized, peaceful demonstration against Niger’s new 2018 Finance Law. They were protesting the law’s regressive policies: it increases citizens’ taxes on basic necessities such as housing, transportation and electricity while providing tax incentives to large companies.
Among the people arrested were Ali Idrissa, Coordinator of ROTAB, Nouhou Arzika, President of Mouvement patriotique pour une citoyenneté responsable (Patriotic Movement for Responsible Citizenship – MPCR), Moussa Tchangari, General Secretary of Alternative Espace Citoyens (Alternative Citizens’ Space – AEC), Lirwana Abdourahmane and 19 other people.
Despite not being part of the March demonstration, the four human rights defenders were charged by the regional court of Niamey (tribunal de Grande Instance) with organizing and participating in the banned demonstration, and with complicity in an act of violence, assault and destruction of public property. In spite of this intimidation by authorities, civil society actors in Niger continue to call out the flaws they see in the 2018 Finance Law.
Following an April 15 demonstration, three more civil society leaders were arrested. Maikoul ZODI, President of the Mouvement des jeunes républicains (Movement for Young Republicans) and national coordinator of the campaign Tournons la Page, Abdourahamane Idé HASSANE, President of Jeunesse pour une Mentalité Nouvelle (Youth for a New Mentality) and Ibrahim DIORI, Advocacy coordinator at Alternative Espace Citoyens (Alternative Citizens’ Space) stand accused of “participation in a banned demonstration and and destruction of public property”.
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