Fighting Impunity: Police Officers Sentenced for Brutalising Demonstrator

Three officers from the anti-riot squad of the Niger Police were on August 22, 2017, sentenced to one year imprisonment each and ordered to pay 15 million CFA ($ 26,993 US) in compensation to a student who was detained and brutalised during demonstrations which took place in mid-April 2017.

It would be recalled that on April 10, 2017, a demonstration by students of the Abdou Moumouny University in Niamey was violently repressed by security forces with one student killed and several injured.

A day after the deadly crackdown, a video went viral on social media showing three police officers detaining a student in their van and beating him with truncheons.

The video generated public outrage, with the media and human rights groups calling for thorough investigations and justice.

One week later, the police authorities published a statement to condemn the brutality and announced the arrest of the officers involved. The three were put before a Tribunal and sentenced on August 22, 2017.

The MFWA welcomes the conviction of the police officers as a powerful message against impunity. We commend the authorities in Niger for responding favorably to calls for justice and urge them to ensure that the family of Malah Bagalé who was killed during that fateful demonstration also receive justice.

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