Niger: A Roadmap for the New Authorities Based on Respect for Fundamental Rights

Press release

Mr. Mahamadou Issoufou will be inaugurated today. FIDH and its member organisation, the Association nigérienne pour la défense des droits de l’Homme (ANDDH), call on the newly elected authorities to take concrete and immediate measures towards the strengthening of the rule of law and the respect for fundamental rights. In their joint report, Niger: A roadmap for the new authorities based on respect for fundamental rights, our organisations focus on specific recommendations regarding this matter.

FIDH and ANDDH, which have been following the transition resulting from the coup of 18 February 2010, expect from the new authorities strong commitments to guarantee good governance and democracy in the country. Measures are notably expected with regard to respect for fundamental freedoms which have often been undermined in recent years. The freedoms of expression, of association, of movement, and the rights to information or to a fair trial must be effectively protected and the respect of the rights of human rights defenders should be given special attention. The new authorities will also have to proceed without further delay with the adoption of the bill on the abolition of death penalty which was regretfully rejected on December 17, 2010, by the National Consultative Council due to a lack of consensus between its members.

In addition, the fight against all forms of discrimination still faced by Nigerien women, the effective prosecution of those who still practice slavery and measures to ensure respect for economic and social rights must be considered as priorities, in accordance with the provisions of the new Constitution which collected more than 90% of the votes.

Many challenges await the new authorities. Mr. Mahamadou Issoufou called for the establishment of rules of good governance. It is time to go from words to action” affirmed Souhayr Belhassen, FIDH president.

On 14 March 2011, Mr. Mahamadou Issoufou, candidate for the Parti nigérien pour la démocratie et le socialisme (PNDS) won the Niger presidential election, collecting nearly 58% of the votes according to the Independent National Electoral Commission. The parliamentary elections, organised at the same time, resulted in the establishment, on 30 March, 2011, of a new National Assembly composed, with among others, deputies from the PNDS, the Mouvement national pour la société de développement (MNSD) or the Mouvement démocratique nigérien (MODEN).

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