Date: 18 Jul 2014
Publish What You Pay condemns the arrest of Ali Idrissa, ROTAB and PWYP Niger coordinator, taken from his home by Nigerien police at 04:00 am this morning. The arrest followed yesterday's press conference where Mr. Idrissa discussed AREVA’s recent deal with Niger and the visit of the French President François Hollande to West Africa. Mr. Idrissa had called on AREVA to respect Niger’s laws and denounced aspects of the France - Niger relationship as neo-colonial. Mr. Idrissa had been briefly arrested yesterday, immediately after the conference, but released the same day.
The French President Hollande is due to arrive in Niamey today as part of his tour of West Africa.
Ali Idrissa is the coordinator of ROTAB and PWYP Niger and has long campaigned on issues of extractive transparency and natural resources. He is also on the International Board of EITI (Extractive Transparency Industry Initiative) Most recently, he led a campaign to ensure that Niger got a fair deal for its uranium in the country’s renegotiation of their contract with AREVA. He was named man of the year in Niger 2013 and among Africa’s most 100 influential people. Niger is an EITI implementing country and had enshrined the principle of the transparency of its natural resources in its 2010 constitution.
Publish What You Pay calls upon the Government of Niger for the immediate release without conditions of Ali Idrissa and for the respect of freedom of expression and association of civil society.
**Update 9:50** - Ten members of ROTAB, including Mrs Solli Ramatou and Mrs Naomi Stansley have been arrested in Niamey.