The story of Ali Idrissi
Political protests in Niger
When in early 2018 Niger launched a new finance bill that provides corporations with tax incentives, while overtaxing the already impoverished Nigeriens, Oxfam Novib’s partners decided to organize peaceful protest demonstrations. However, on March 25, the police arrested 25 activists, raided the offices of our partners and detained some of them.
Alliance-building after arrests
Oxfam Novib immediately came into action. Our main goal was to safeguard our partners and their work, analyzing the main risks and training them to protect themselves. We supported solidarity groups and a network of partners that provided legal assistance to the prisoners. To defend civic space, we built a first-ever alliance of local NGOs, that tried to open up conversations with the government. We expressed our concerns, demanded the release of the protesters, and joined forces with other countries’ embassies.
Ending up in jail doesn’t stop us.
Fortunately the first protesters were released in July. Supported by Oxfam Novib, our partners are still working to get the remaining five activists out of jail. A big win of these unfortunate events is the alliance of NGOs. Our partners cherish the new opportunities to work together and influence civic space issues in Niger.
Hear the story of Ali Idrissi, manager of Oxfam partner ROTAB:
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Donor: Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs