Niger Alert: Three opposition leaders and one Facebook activist detained

Three Nigerien opposition leaders—Soumana Sanda, Youba Diallo and Ousseini Salatou—and social media activist Ibrahim Bana are being held in police CID custody.

The MFWA’s correspondent in Niger reported that these four people have been in custody since January 25, 2015.

In an interview on the private radio station Anfani, their counsel, Boubacar Amadou, said that their arrest followed the execution of letters rogatory by the chief examining magistrate regarding the January 16–17, 2015 demonstrations. As of now, it is unclear which charges are being brought against the four persons.

The demonstrations took place in Zinder (east of the capital, Niamey) and in Niamey, and they led to at least ten deaths, several injuries, and extensive property damage. They followed the publications of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo. Depictions of the Prophet Mohammed are considered to be heresy by many Muslims.

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