Bazoum deprived of his freedom
Niger’s ousted former president sues military junta
September 21, 2023, 4:49 p.m
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After the military coup in Niger, a little calm has initially returned to the country. But now the deposed former President Bazoum is suing against the conditions of his arrest. It’s about the provision of food, electricity and doctor’s visits, but above all about deprivation of freedom.
Niger’s president, Mohamed Bazoum, who was overthrown by the military, is taking the coup plotters to court. Bazoum, his wife and his son filed a lawsuit with the ECOWAS Court of Justice alleging deprivation of liberty and violation of the constitution, Bazoum’s lawyer Mohamed Seydou Diagne said in Dakar.
The three have been held at the presidential palace in Niger’s capital Niamey since the July 26 coup. The head of the presidential guard, Abdourahamane Tiani, has taken power with other military officers and declared himself interim president.
According to the lawyer, in response to the lawsuit, the junta ordered that Bazoum and his family receive fresh food and visits from their doctor only once a week instead of every day. There had been global concern for the presidential family as they were left without power, supplies of food or access to medical care after the coup. In mid-August, the junta allowed a doctor to see the president for the first time, who now came every day. The family still has no electricity.
ECOWAS so far lame paper tiger
ECOWAS had threatened military intervention if the democratically elected President Bazoum was not reinstated and constitutional order was restored. However, this has not happened to date.
Niger, a Sahel country with around 26 million inhabitants and one of the poorest populations in the world, was previously an important strategic partner of the USA and European countries in the Sahel region on the southern edge of the Sahara. Several neighboring states are also ruled by the military after coups. The Nigerien judicial authority published a letter from the court based in neighboring Nigeria ordering the state within a month to respond to the complaint received on Monday.