UN envoy worries about deteriorating conditions of detained Nigerien president

By Cecilia Ologunagba

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, is concerned about the deteriorating conditions in which the Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum, his wife and his son have been detained.

UN Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Mr Farhan Haq, said this at a news conference in New York on Friday.

President Bazoum and his family are believed to be living without electricity, water, food or medicine, according to media reports.

The democratically elected leader has been detained since soldiers seized power on July 26.

“Further to what the Secretary-General has said about his concerns about President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger, Türk, today said that he is extremely concerned about the rapidly deteriorating conditions,” Haq said.

He said he had received credible reports that the conditions of detention could amount to inhuman and degrading treatment, in violation of international human rights law.

“And he added that those responsible for the detention of the president must ensure the full respect and protection of his human rights and of all others being held,” Haq said.

On Thursday, the secretary-general, Anthonio Guterres, reiterated his concern for the health and safety of the president and his family.

He once again called for his immediate and unconditional release and reinstatement as head of state.

Guterres was also alarmed over continuing reports about the arrest of several members of the government and urgently called for their unconditional release.

According to him, the UN supports mediation efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) towards restoring constitutional order in Niger. (NAN)