Police forces arrested three civil society activists on Sunday, April 15, in the capital Niamey. They were detained while attempting to stage a protest march and sit-in in front of parliament - despite a ban on demonstrations - in protest of new taxes implemented under the 2018 Finance Act (budget). Police forces deployed tear gas and charged at the protesters, who had gathered at Toumo Square and responded by throwing stones and burning tires on roads. Further demonstrations are possible in the coming weeks.
Anti-budget protests have been taking place in Niamey and other Nigerien cities since January. The 2018 Finance Act has raised taxes on goods and services and implemented inheritance and land taxes.
Niger frequently experiences violent demonstrations. Both large and small protests occur regularly, often near government buildings, university campuses, or public parks. Many demonstrations have involved rock throwing and tire burning, especially at key intersections in Niamey.
Individuals in Niger are advised to avoid all protests due to the risk of violence and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.