Three HRDs provisionally released; civil society protests against corruption and injustice banned

HRDs provisionally released from prison still face charges

Three civil society activists who remained in prison in relation to the anti-corruption civil society protest on 15th March 2020 - Maikoul Zodi and Moudi Moussa of Tournons la Page and Halidou Mounkaila of trade union SYNACEB - were granted a provisional release by a Niamey Court judge on 29th and 30th September 2020. They still face charges of unauthorised gathering, complicity in damaging public property, arson and manslaughter. As reported previously on the Monitor, at least 15 people, including eight civil society activists, were detained by authorities between 15th and 17th March 2020 for participation in a civil society protest against corruption in the procurement of military material. Zodi, Moussa and Mounkaila were the last of these HRDs that remained in prison.

Civil society protests banned

On 7th October 2020, local authorities banned a civil society protest planned for 9th October 2020. The protest was organised by Tournons la Page Niger, Alternatives Espaces Citoyens and Croisade to denounce corruption, injustice, impunity and bad governance. Authorities reportedly used the grounds of 'failure to comply with the deadline of 5 days', 'risk to disturb public order' and the health emergency in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. A previous protest, planned for 4th October 2020, was cancelled by local authorities.