Police abuse during protest captured on video
Student Malah Bagalé was killed during protests at a university in Niger's capital, Niamey, on 10th April 2017. A video circulated on social media in the aftermath of the protests appeared to show police officers beating another unarmed protester in the back of a police truck. The protests themselves were marred by police using tear gas against protesters who responded by throwing stones. The video's release led to widespread public outrage. In response to the public outcry, the police's leadership announced that three officers who were suspected of involvement in the brutal attack had been arrested and the case would be investigated. The initial protest brought an estimated 23,000 people onto the streets, calling for better living conditions for students. The large-scale mobilisation eventually led to university's closure.
Thousands also took to the streets for Malah Bagalé's funeral. The authorities claimed Bagalé had died as a result of a fall; however, demonstrators insisted the student had died after being hit by a tear gas canister. In the days following the protests, the president of Niger, Issoufou Mahamadou, intervened to hold talks with student leadership in an effort to diffuse the crisis. On 18th April 2017, the president ordered the security forces to withdraw from the campus and declared that the university be reopened.