On the evening of December 12, 2021, Armadan Moussa, Biliyaminou Idi, Moubarak Habou and Hima Hamani - activists of Tournons La Page (TLP) Niger - and Mathieu Pourchier - advocacy and protection officer employed by Agir ensemble pour les droits humains, seconded to the international secretariat of Tournons - who had been arbitrarily detained since December 10, were provisionally released.
The five human rights defenders were provisionally released after 60 hours of police custody in difficult conditions and after strong international mobilization. They were charged with unlawful assembly. They must remain at the disposal of justice and are not allowed to leave Niamey without informing the police authorities beforehand.
On December 10, 2021, International Human Rights Day, Armadan Moussa, Biliyaminou Idi, Moubarak Habou, and Hima Hamani, all four members of the Niamey branch of TLP-Niger, were arrested by police and taken into custody at the Niamey central police station while participating in a "citizen caravan for democracy. On the same day, half an hour earlier, Mathieu Pourchier, an advocacy and protection officer for TLP's international secretariat, was violently arrested by four plainclothes police officers while riding his motorcycle in the city and was interrogated and taken into custody at the Niamey central police station. All five were charged with "illegal attack.
It should be emphasized that these accusations of illegal assembly are spurious because the Citizens' Democracy Caravan, a peaceful international activity organized every year since 2017 on the occasion of Human Rights Day by TLP-Niger, with the aim of raising awareness among the people of Niamey about respect for fundamental rights and the benefits of a democratic system, had not been subject to any prior administrative ban. Moreover, Mathieu Pourchier was not present at the site of the march at the time of his arrest.
Furthermore, participation in an activity such as the "Citizens' Caravan for Democracy" is protected by the right to peaceful assembly as recognized by Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, both of which Niger has ratified.
ACAT-France, ACAT-Niger, ActionAid France, AfricanDefenders, Agir ensemble pour les droits humains, Amnesty International, Avocats sans frontières France (ASF France), CRID, the International Federation of ACAT (FIACAT), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) in the framework of the Observatory for the
Movement, RITIMO, Secours Catholique-Caritas France and Tournons La Page recall that the five human rights defenders, who were finally released, should never have been imprisoned in the first place, as their detention was arbitrary and aimed at preventing them from carrying out their legitimate human rights activities.
legitimate human rights activities.
The signatory organizations call on the Nigerien authorities to drop all judicial and administrative proceedings against the five human rights defenders and ensure that they can carry out their legitimate human rights activities without hindrance or fear of reprisal.
The signatory organizations call on the Nigerien authorities to:
- End all judicial and administrative proceedings against Armadan Moussa, Biliyaminou Idi, Mubarak Habou, Hima Hamani and Mathieu Pourchier;
- Put an end to all practices of harassment against members of civil society;
- Guarantee in all circumstances the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association.
Signatories / Press contact
- ActionAid France
- Agir ensemble pour les droits humains | Tim Hughes, President
email@example.com | +33 6 77 69 42 91
- Amnesty International | Sadibou Marong, press attaché
firstname.lastname@example.org | +221 33 869 30 03
- Avocats sans frontières France (ASF France)
- Fédération internationale des ACAT (FIACAT) | Adéa Guillot, directrice de la communication
email@example.com | +33 6 07 73 54 78
- Fédération internationale pour les droits humains (FIDH) dans le cadre de l’Observatoire pour la protection des défenseurs des droits de l’Homme
- Mouvement de la Paix
- Organisation mondiale contre la torture (OMCT) dans le cadre de l’Observatoire pour la protection des défenseurs des droits de l’Homme
- Secours Catholique-Caritas France
- Tournons La Page | Marc Ona Essangui, président firstname.lastname@example.org | +241 66 26 06 17