Deep concern about the detention of PWYP members in Niger

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The Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Africa Steering Committee is deeply concerned by the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Abdoulaye Seydou and Adamou Idrissa, both members of the ROTAB/PWYP-Niger coalition, and by the deteriorating situation for human rights defenders in Niger. We are witnessing a systematic ban on public demonstrations in Niger.

Abdoulaye Seydou is the coordinator of the M62 Movement, a citizen-led movement focusing on the promotion of human rights, civil and political rights and fighting corruption and bad governance in Niger. On 23 January 2023 he was transferred to the high security prison of Kollo. 

Idrissa Adamou is the National coordinator of the NGO Notre Cause Commune (NCC) in Niger. He was arrested on 9 March and has been detained since.

PWYP strongly believes the arbitrary detention of human rights defenders Abdoulaye Seydou and  Adamou Idrissa, as well as two other arrested civil society actors, Lawal Badja and Ibrahim Salissou, are directly linked to their peaceful and legitimate work in defence of human rights and calls for their immediate and unconditional release.

Fatima Mimbire, Chair of PWYP’s Africa Steering Committee, said:

“It is deeply concerning to see our colleagues detained for doing their job of exposing potential wrongdoing. A free civic space is vital for a country to end corruption and foster accountability. These detentions are unacceptable. Human rights defenders must be protected and not prosecuted.”

These arrests are part of a deteriorating situation for human rights defenders in Niger, where those working on combating impunity and for social justice are being targeted with judicial harassment, including pre-trial detention and trumped-up charges. Peaceful protests are being violently repressed and organisers are targeted with arrests and detention. 

“Furthermore, the deterioration of the civic space in Niger in the context of the launch of EITI Niger validation is a bad signal. We call on the Nigerien authorities to do everything possible to strengthen the protection of activists in order to give the EITI a chance to succeed in the country,”

insisted Christian Mounzeo, Vice Chair of the PWYP ASC.

PWYP stands in solidarity with human rights defenders in Niger and calls on the authorities to ensure they are able to work freely, without fear of reprisals.

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