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Niger: Amnesty for Military Coup Participants

(May 26, 2011) On May 19, 2011, the unicameral legislature of Niger approved a law that gives amnesty from prosecution to members of the military ruling group that ousted former president Mamadou Tanja in February 2010. According to a parliamentary radio report, all the deputies that were present voted in favor of the measure. (Niger Lawmakers Approve Amnesty for Military Putschists, AFP (May 19, 2011), MORNINGSTAR website; also at World News Connection online subscription database, Doc. No. 201105191477.1_d0a600295f055dc3.)

Niger adopted a new Constitution, via a referendum held on October 31, 2010, which in. article 185 provides for the granting of amnesty for coup participants. (New Niger Constitution Gets Thumbs Up, TIMESLIVE (Johannesburg, South Africa) (Nov. 3, 2010); Constitution de la VIIe République [in French], JOURNAL OFFICIEL DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE DU NIGER 246-261 (Nov. 29, 2010), DIGITHÈQUE MJP website (unofficial source).)

Bazoum Mohamed, the country's Foreign Affairs Minister, described the new amnesty law as limited in effect, extending amnesty only to acts committed on the day of the coup d'état. (AFP, supra.)