AI – Amnesty International (Author)
Human rights activists continued to be targeted until the overthrow of President Mamadou Tandja in February. The ousted President and other political and military officials were held without charge or trial. Several foreign nationals were taken hostage by al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), one of whom reportedly died in captivity.
In February, President Mamadou Tandja was overthrown by a military junta that suspended the Constitution and dissolved all state institutions. The Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD) appointed Major Salou Djibo as Niger’s interim president. The military leadership promised a new Constitution and a rapid return to democracy.
In May, a new electoral code was promulgated. In October, a national pact paving the way towards democracy was signed in Rome by the CSRD, the government, the transitional parliament, major political parties and civil society groups. A new Constitution was adopted in October and parliamentary elections were scheduled for January 2011.
In March, AQIM raided a military outpost in western Niger, killing at least five soldiers.
As a result of widespread crop failure and high food prices, the country faced a severe food crisis with more than half the population short of food. This situation worsened in August after heavy rainfall and localized flooding.
Several political leaders were arrested and detained after the military coup. Most were released a few days later, but some were detained without charge or trial.
Human rights activists were targeted early in the year.
Several foreign nationals were taken hostage by AQIM.
Following the execution in Libya in May of 18 Africans including three nationals of Niger, the President of Niger met Libyan leader Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi, who reportedly agreed to stop executions of nationals of Niger. The two also discussed the commutation of the sentences of 22 nationals of Niger sentenced to death in Libya to life imprisonment, and their repatriation to Niger to serve their sentences.
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Amnesty International Report 2011 - Zur weltweiten Lage der Menschenrechte (Periodical Report, German)