05/07/2020

Urgent Action Update: Three Activists Still Detained (Niger: UA 36.20)


On 30 April, activists Moussa Tchangari and Habibou Soumaila were released on bail. Activists Maikoul Zodi, Halidou Mounkaila and Moundi Moussa were denied provisional release on 4 May and are still detained in prisons in Niger. They are charged with organizing an unauthorized gathering and complicity in damaging public property, arson, and manslaughter. Amnesty International believes that some of the charges against the activists have been fabricated to undermine the peaceful exercise of their human rights and demand for accountability.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 36.20. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
M. Marou Amadou
Minister of Justice of Niger
Due to postal restrictions caused by COVID-19, please only send physical mail to the Embassy
Email: [email protected]
Fax: + 227 20 73 34 30
Ambassador Hassana Alidou
Embassy of the Republic of Niger
2204 R St. NW Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 202 483 4224 I Fax: 202 483 3169
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @HassanaAlidou
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Minister,

While I welcome the news that activists Moussa Tchangari and Habibou Soumaila were released on bail on 30 April, I am concerned to learn that activists Maikoul Zodi, Halidou Mounkaila and Moundi Moussa are still detained. Karim Tanko and Seyni Djibo were released on bail on 19 April. All seven activists still face charges of organizing an unauthorized gathering, complicity in damaging public property, arson and manslaughter, following a protest that they organized in Niamey, Niger, on 15 March, demanding an investigation into the allegations of misuse of funds by the Ministry of Defense.

Amnesty International believes that the charges against the activists related to complicity in damaging public property, arson and manslaughter have been fabricated to undermine the peaceful exercise of their human rights and demands for accountability. I am deeply concerned that Maikoul Zodi, Halidou Mounkaila and Moundi Moussa are detained in separate prisons, some of which are located more than 100 km from their relatives and lawyers.

Given the heightened risk of contagion of Covid-19 between those in custodial and other detention settings, the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture urges all states to “review all cases of pre-trial detention in order to determine whether it is strictly necessary in light of the prevailing public health emergency and to extend the use of bail for all but the most serious of cases”.

I urge you to ensure that Maikoul Zodi, Halidou Mounkaila and Moundi Moussa are provisionally released and that they have prompt, regular and unrestricted access to their family and a lawyer of their choice. I also urge you to perform an independent, impartial, thorough and effective investigation into the deaths during the demonstration on 15 March to bring the suspected perpetrators to justice, with due regard for the right to a fair trial.

Yours sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

ICE DETENTION + COVID-19 = PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS. HELP NOW