Annual Report: Niger 2013

Report
May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Niger 2013

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Republic of Niger

Head of state Mahamadou Issoufou

Head of government Brigi Rafini

People accused of belonging to terrorist groups were ill-treated in detention. Several aid workers and their driver were abducted and held for three weeks by an armed group.

Background

There were clashes between government forces and armed groups based in Mali and Nigeria. In the north, the army strengthened the security system to oppose elements of armed groups involved in hostage-taking, drug trafficking and armed banditry.

As a result of the crisis following the March 2012 military coup in Mali, at least 50,000 people sought refuge in camps in Niger. They had very limited access to basic necessities and health care.

Torture and other ill-treatment

Several people, including nationals of Nigeria, accused of being members of al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) or of Boko Haram, a Nigerian Islamist armed group, and suspected of terrorist activities, were ill-treated during arrest or shortly afterwards in an attempt to extract confessions.

  • In April, Moustapha Madou Abba Kiari was arrested in Difa, near the border with Nigeria, and punched and kicked. He was accused of being a member of Boko Haram and charged with terrorism offences.

Abuses by armed groups

Several people, including foreign nationals, were abducted by armed groups.

  • In October, five aid workers – four Niger nationals and a Chad national – and their driver, a Niger citizen, were kidnapped in Dakoro by armed men and held for three weeks. The Chadian hostage was shot and wounded during his capture and died shortly afterwards.

International justice

In May, the authorities expressed their readiness to examine the Libyan authorities' request to hand over several high-ranking Libyan officials from the government of former President Mu'ammar al-Gaddafi, who had sought refuge in Niger.

  • In February, under an Interpol operation, Saadi al-Gaddafi, son of the Libyan former leader, was put under house arrest in Niamey, the capital, after he appeared on Arab television and threatened Libya with an imminent uprising. He was still subject to restrictions to his movements and communications at the end of the year.

Amnesty International visits/reports

  • Amnesty International delegates visited Malian refugee sites in Niger in April.