In the context of the UPR, Amnesty International has made the following recommendations to Niger
• To open investigations into unlawful killings, notably in the context of the Tuareg conflict;
• To bring to justice those responsible of extrajudicial executions, notably members of the security forces;
• To provide reparation for the relatives of victims of extrajudicial executions.
Torture and other ill-treatment
• To give clear instructions to the security forces to always act in compliance with international human rights law, in particular the right to life and the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment;
• To bring national legislation on torture and other ill-treatment in line with international human rights standards, to amend the 1961 Penal Code to include a comprehensive definition of torture as provided for in Article 1 of the UN Convention against Torture, to make any act of torture or ill-treatment a criminal offence and to make provision for penalties that reflects the gravity of the act;
• To ensure that anyone placed in detention is brought promptly before a judicial authority and has the option of disputing the legality of the decision to imprison;
• To draw up a plan of action to eradicate torture and ill-treatment and to bring to justice all suspected perpetrators of such acts;
• To inform members of the police and other law enforcement officers, in unambiguous language, that torture and ill-treatment are violations of human rights which will not be tolerated under any circumstances and that anyone committing such offences will be punished as provided for by law;
• To carry out impartial and effective investigation without delay into all complaints and information concerning torture and other ill-treatment;
• To ensure that all judges, prosecutors and lawyers are informed that confessions and statements obtained other than in the presence of a member of the public prosecutor’s office and the suspect’s counsel may not be used in support of the accusation before the court;
• To ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Freedom of expression
• To respect the right to peaceful exercise of freedom of expression and assembly;
• To ensure that the right to freedom of expression, as enshrined in the Constitution as well as in relevant international human rights standards, is fully respected in practice, including for those who may wish to express dissenting view;
• To issue clear guidelines and inform all law enforcement personnel, at all levels, of their obligations to respect and protect human rights and to refrain from arresting and beating critics.
Impunity for human rights violations
• To repeal amnesty laws and to bring to justice those responsible for human rights violations regardless of how much time has elapsed since the commission of the crime;
• To take immediate steps to establish an independent complaints mechanism with a mandate to investigate all allegations of human rights violations and abuses by security forces and armed opposition groups.
The death penalty
• To immediately establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty as provided by UN General Assembly resolution 62/149, adopted on 18 December 2007 and resolution 63/168 adopted on 18 December 2008;
• To commute without delay all death sentences to terms of imprisonment;
• To immediately remove all provisions in national law which are in breach of international human rights law, in particular:
o By restricting the imposition of the death penalty to only the most serious crimes,
o By abolishing all provisions which provide for mandatory death sentences,
o By prohibiting the imposition of the death penalty on anyone suffering from a mental disability,
o By prohibiting executions of pregnant women and mothers with dependent infants;
• To ensure rigorous compliance in all death penalty cases with international standards for fair trial, including the rights:
o to be tried before an independent, impartial and competent tribunal,
o to competent defence counsel at every stage of the proceedings,
o to adequate time and facilities to prepare one’s defence,
o to be presumed innocent until guilt has been proved beyond reasonable doubt,
o to appeal to a higher court, and
o to seek pardon and commutation of sentence;
• To ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at abolition of the death penalty.
• To establish an independent and impartial enquiry into progress over the past 20 years and to consider steps towards complete eradication of slavery, slavery-like practices and related abuses and discrimination in Niger. The inquiry should involve religious leaders, traditional leaders, law enforcement officials and judicial officials as well as members of civil society including NGOs working against slavery;
• To ensure that the 2003 law which makes slavery a criminal offence is effectively enforced and that all people suspected of practicing slavery are prosecuted;
• To develop mechanisms for full and fair reparations for victims of slavery, including compensation and rehabilitation.