UN voices alarm over Niger leader’s reported ‘inhuman’ detention conditions

The United Nations’ rights chief voiced alarm Friday at the worsening conditions facing Niger’s detained leader and his family, warning they could amount to inhuman treatment under international law.

“I am extremely concerned about the rapidly deteriorating conditions in which President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger, his wife and his son have been arbitrarily detained,” Volker Turk said in a statement.

Niger’s democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted in a coup by members of his guard on July 26, and concern has been mounting for his health and safety.

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

“I have received reports that electricity has been cut, and they have no access to clean drinking water — amid hot temperatures in Niger — and to necessary medicine,” he said.

“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.”

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