Former President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, who was toppled by a military coup on July 26 and has been under house arrest since then, is taking legal action against the coup plotters in his country and appealing to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
His lawyers said in a statement on Monday that they were filing a civil lawsuit against the new leader, General Abdourahamane Tiani, and “all others” involved in the coup. The lawsuit accuses them of “attack and conspiracy against state authority, crimes and offenses committed by civil servants and arbitrary arrests and confinements.”
The lawyers said they expected to submit the lawsuit to a court in Niamey, the capital of Niger, in the next few days. One of them, Dominique Inchauspe, told AFP that the coup was “an infringement on the dignity of the Nigerien state” and stressed the “absolute necessity” to restore the rule of law.
The lawyers also said they were appealing to two bodies of the UN Human Rights Council, including its working group on arbitrary detention, to intervene on behalf of Bazoum.
Bazoum had already filed a lawsuit with a court of the Economic Community of West African States on September 18, according to his Senegalese lawyer Seydou Diagne.
Bazoum was democratically elected as president of Niger in February this year, but was overthrown by a group of soldiers who stormed the presidential palace and announced the formation of a transitional council. The coup leaders said they would pursue Bazoum for “high treason.”