Niger activist sentenced for Facebook post

Freedom of expression

Abdoul Moumouni Ousmane, President of the Action Framework for Democracy and Human Rights (Cadre d'Action pour la Démocratie et les Droits de l’Homme, CADDRH) in Niger received a suspended sentence and fine for posting a comment critical of the government on Facebook. On 14th June, Abdoul criticised the government's response to attacks by the extremist Islamic group Boko Haram on the town of Bosso. Following the attacks in early June, in which a reported 26 soldiers were killed, Abdoul wrote that the government seemed unable to end the terrorist threat, and also questioned the involvement of troops from neighbouring Chad. He was charged with "organising a conspiracy to overthrow a constitutional order" and on 23rd June was handed a six-month suspended sentence and a fine of approximately US$100.

There are suspicions that Abdoul was singled out because of CADDRH's critical stance towards the government. His conviction threatens to set a dangerous precedent which could restrict the ability of people in Niger to express themselves freely on social media.