Arrest of PWYP Activist Ali Idrissa in Niger on day of President Hollande’s visit

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Update 21/7 – All arrested activists were freed on Friday evening,but will be summoned by a judge this week. PWYP remains vigilant.

Update 14:35 18/07 – Mr. Ali Idrissa was released earlier today, but he has been told that once Hollande’s visit is over, the authorities will come to pick him up and take him to a judge.

– The ten members from ROTAB and other civil society groups who were also arrested this morning remain in custody at the “école de police” (Mme Solli Ramatou (GREN), Mme Naomi Stansley (ROTAB), Mr Maikoul Zodi (ROTAB), Halidou Mounkaila (Membre CA ROTAB), Mr Mato (MPCR), Boubacar illiassou (Rotab), Yaou (Gardien siege ROTAB), Ibrahim Naimayou, Bozari Boubacar (GREN))

Update 9:50 18/07 – Ten members of ROTAB, including Mrs Solli Ramatou and Mrs Naomi Stansley have been arrested in Niamey.

Publish What You Pay condemns the arrest of Ali Idrissa, ROTAB and PWYP Niger coordinator, taken from his home by Nigerien police at 04:00 am this morning. Ten other members of ROTAB were arrested later this morning. These arrest followed yesterday’s press conference where Mr. Idrissa discussed AREVA’s recent deal with Niger and the visit of the French President François Hollande to West Africa. Mr. Idrissa had called on AREVA to respect Niger’s laws and denounced aspects of the France – Niger relationship as neo-colonial. Mr. Idrissa had been briefly arrested yesterday, immediately after the conference, but released the same day.

The French President Hollande is due to arrive in Niamey today as part of his tour of West Africa.

Ali Idrissa is the coordinator of ROTAB and PWYP Niger and has long campaigned on issues of extractive transparency and natural resources. He is also on the International Board of EITI (Extractive Transparency Industry Initiative) Most recently, he led a campaign to ensure that Niger got a fair deal for its uranium in the country’s renegotiation of their contract with AREVA. He was named man of the year in Niger 2013 and among Africa’s most 100 influential people. Niger is an EITI implementing country and had enshrined the principle of the transparency of its natural resources in its 2010 constitution.

Publish What You Pay calls upon the Government of Niger for the immediate release without conditions of Ali Idrissa and for the respect of freedom of expression and association of civil society.

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