The trial of several prominent civil society activists has been postponed to October 1. It had been set to resume on September 18 at the Tribunal de Grande Instance in the capital Niamey. Further postponements can be expected. Given the sensitive nature of the trial, supporters may attempt to gather outside the courthouse once it does resume, which would likely prompt the security forces to disperse them, potentially using forceful measures.
Several activists were arrested and jailed in March for having participated in an unauthorized demonstration against the 2018 budget law. Among the arrested activists, 15 were freed in July while four others are awaiting trial. The budget law is seen by the civil society as being discriminating to the general population as it will increase 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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