Illia Malam Mamane Saidat Vs Republic of Niger (Application No. ECW/CCJ/APP/36/19)

A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the judgement.


120. The Court also notes that the Respondent and his courts have not demonstrated that the Applicant’s detention and the application of pre-trial detention were necessary to avoid a real danger to the national security of the Republic of Niger.

121. Interference with the right to freedom of assembly, involving, inter alia, the arrest of participants can only be justified by stated and specific substantive reasons, such as the risks provided for in the law and only after the participants have been given sufficient opportunities to express their views.

124. Demanding political change in speeches and protests does not automatically mean a threat to the country’s territorial integrity and national security, for in a democratic society based on the rule of law, political ideas that challenge the existing order and whose realization is advocated by peaceful means must be given an adequate opportunity for expression through the exercise of the right of assembly. Thus, national security cannot be claimed to justify limitation to avoid merely local or relatively isolated threats to law and order.

125. Furthermore, national security should not be used as an excuse to impose vague or arbitrary limitations and should only be claimed in combination with adequate safeguards and effective solutions against abuse.

127. Consequently, the Respondent State’s failure to produce any evidence capable of substantiating the statement of “need to protect national security against the threat posed by the Applicant’s statements” as a justification for the Applicant’s detention and pre-trial detention, leads the Court to conclude that the national authorities acted arbitrarily.

129. In this sense, the Court finds that the Respondent violated Articles 11 of the Charter and 21 of the ICCPR.


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