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Niger: Further information on legal concern / fear of ill-treatment / probable prisoners of conscience

, Index number: AFR 43/002/1997

Amnesty International has learned that all but one of the detainees arrested on or around 11 January 1997 were released without charge on 23 January 1997. Mahamadou Lamine Yamien remains detained without charge, but has reportedly been allowed access to his family and the CDS. Another political leader, Sala Habi, whose arrest was announced on 25 January, also remains in detention without charge.

EXTERNAL AI Index: AFR 43/02/97
29 January 1997
Further information on UA 19/97 (AFR 43/01/97, 17 January 1997)
Legal Concern/fear of ill-treatment/probable prisoners of conscience
NIGERAt least 100 members and supporters of the Front pour la restauration
et la défense de la démocratie (FRDD), Front for the Restoration
and Defence of Democracy, a coalition of eight opposition parties
including:
- Mahamane Ousmane, former president, leader of the Convention
démocratique et sociale (CDS)
- Mahamadou Issoufou, former president of the National Assembly, leader
of the Parti nigérien pour la démocratie et le socialisme (PNDS)
- Mamadou Tandja, leader of the Mouvement national pour la société et
le développement (MNSD), the former single party
new names:- Mahamadou Lamine Yamien, member of the CDS
- Sala Habi, former member of parliament and member of the MNSD
Amnesty International has learned that all but one of the detainees arrested
on or around 11 February 1997 were released without charge on 23 January 1997.
There were no reports of ill-treatment. One member of the CDS, Mahamadou
Lamine Yamien, remains in detention at the headquarters of the Renseignements
généraux (General Intelligence) in the capital, Niamey. He has not been charged
or brought before a court, but has reportedly been allowed visits by members
of his family and the CDS.
One other political leader, Sala Habi, a former member of parliament, whose
arrest was announced on 25 January 1997, also remains in detention without
charge or trial. He was arrested in Tahoua (400 kilometres north-east of
Niamey) and transferred to the premises of the Police judiciaire (Criminal
Investigation Department) in the capital, where he has been allowed visits.
A rally organized by the opposition on 25 January 1997 passed off peacefully
and there were no reports of political unrest on 27 January 1997, the first
anniversary of the coup which brought President Maïnassara to power.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in French or in your own language:
- welcoming the release of most of those arrested on or around 11 January 1997;
- expressing concern at the continued detention without charge or trial of
Mahamadou Lamine Yamien and Sala Habi, beyond the legal limits of garde à vue
detention;
- seeking clarification of the detainees' legal status and urging that they
be released forthwith if they are not to be brought before a court and charged
with a recognizable criminal offence.
APPEALS TO:
President
Son Excellence
Monsieur le général Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara
Président de la République
La Présidence, Niamey, Niger
Telegrams: President, Niamey, Niger
2
Fax: + 227 733430
Salutation: Excellence / Dear President
Prime Minister
Monsieur Amadou Boubakar Cissé
Premier Ministre
La Primature, Niamey, Niger
Telegrams: Premier Ministre, Niamey, Niger
Fax: c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs +227 735231
Salutation: Monsieur le Premier Ministre / Dear Prime Minister
Minister for the Interior
Monsieur Idi Ango Omar
Ministre de l'Intérieur
Ministère de l'intérieur, Niamey, Niger
Telegrams: Ministre Intérieur, Niamey, Niger
Telex: 5214
Fax: +227 722176
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre / Dear Minister
Minister for Justice
Monsieur Boubé Oumarou
Ministre de la Justice et des Droits de l'Homme, Garde des Sceaux
Ministère de la Justice, Niamey, Niger
Telegrams: Ministre Justice, Niamey, Niger
Fax: +227 735231
Telex: 5214
Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre / Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
Monsieur Ibrahim Hassane Mayaki,
Ministre d'Etat, chargé des Relations Extérieures,
Ministère des Affaires étrangères,
Niamey, Niger
Fax: 227 735231
and to diplomatic representatives of Niger accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 12 March 1997.

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