Head of state
Mahamadou Issoufou
Head of government
Brigi Rafini

People accused of belonging to terrorist groups were ill-treated in detention. Several aid workers and their driver were abducted and held for three weeks by an armed group.


There were clashes between government forces and armed groups based in Mali and Nigeria. In the north, the army strengthened the security system to oppose elements of armed groups involved in hostage-taking, drug trafficking and armed banditry.

As a result of the crisis following the March 2012 military coup in Mali, at least 50,000 people sought refuge in camps in Niger. They had very limited access to basic necessities and health care.

Top of page

Torture and other ill-treatment

Several people, including nationals of Nigeria, accused of being members of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) or of Boko Haram, a Nigerian Islamist armed group, and suspected of terrorist activities, were ill-treated during arrest or shortly afterwards in an attempt to extract confessions.

  • In April, Moustapha Madou Abba Kiari was arrested in Difa, near the border with Nigeria, and punched and kicked. He was accused of being a member of Boko Haram and charged with terrorism offences.
Top of page

Abuses by armed groups

Several people, including foreign nationals, were abducted by armed groups.

  • In October, five aid workers – four Niger nationals and a Chad national – and their driver, a Niger citizen, were kidnapped in Dakoro by armed men and held for three weeks. The Chadian hostage was shot and wounded during his capture and died shortly afterwards.
Top of page

International justice

In May, the authorities expressed their readiness to examine the Libyan authorities’ request to hand over several high-ranking Libyan officials from the government of former President Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi, who had sought refuge in Niger.

  • In February, under an Interpol operation, Saadi al-Gaddafi, son of the Libyan former leader, was put under house arrest in Niamey, the capital, after he appeared on Arab television and threatened Libya with an imminent uprising. He was still subject to restrictions to his movements and communications at the end of the year.
Top of page

Jump to a Country Report


The deepening crisis in Mali in 2012 reflected many of the region’s deep-rooted problems. Across Africa, people’s l ...


The widespread human rights violations of the past, and the failure to hold those responsible to account, have cast a ...

Asia Pacific

In countries across Asia-Pacific, the simple act of publicly expressing one’s opinion – whether on the street ...

Europe and Central Asia

A rare example of the democratic transition of power for the former Soviet Union took place in the par ...

Middle East and North Africa

The popular uprisings that swept across North Africa and the Middle East from late 2010 continued ...

Amnesty International on social networks

Country Reports

No reports available

Country Visits

  • Amnesty International delegates visited Malian refugee sites in Niger in April.