A Niamey court is expected to deliver its decision on Friday, October 5, regarding the sentencing of three prominent civil society activists who were arrested seven months earlier. The trial, which had been delayed twice, resumed on October 1. The prosecutor has asked for a sentence of eight months in prison combined with the payment of a XOF 50,000 (USD 87) fine. Supporters are expected to gather outside the Tribunal de Grande Instance in the capital Niamey, which will likely prompt security forces to disperse them, potentially using forceful measures.
A group of activists was arrested and jailed in March for having participated in an unauthorized demonstration against the 2018 budget. Among the arrested activists, 15 were freed in July while the three remaining were awaiting trial. The budget has caused tensions among the general population as it has increased taxes on housing and electricity.
Individuals in Niamey during the trial should avoid the vicinity of the courthouse due to the risk of localized clashes between activists and the security forces.
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