Niger tribunal grants ousted president’s son provisional release from house arrest

NIAMEY (Reuters) – Niger’s military tribunal granted the son of ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, Mohamed Bazoum Salem, provisional release from house arrest in the capital Niamey on Monday, it said in a statement.

Salem, 23, has been in detention at the presidential residence with his parents since his father was toppled during a military coup in July.

The coup, one of eight in West and Central Africa since 2020, was widely condemned, led to sanctions from the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), and prompted widespread calls for Bazoum’s release and a return to democratic rule.

The tribunal did not provide details on the fate of Salem’s parents.

The ECOWAS Court of Justice last month ruled that the family’s detention was arbitrary and ordered Bazoum’s reinstatement. The court, whose decisions cannot be appealed, has given the junta one month to say how it will execute the order, the lawyers said.

Bazoum and his son were indicted after the July 26 coup. Salem was charged of conspiracy with the aim of undermining the authority or security of the state.

The family has had no access to running water or electricity, according to Bazoum’s party and their relatives. The family’s lawyers previously said they have not been allowed to meet a magistrate or informed about any legal proceedings against them.

(Reporting by Moussa Aksar and Boureima Balima; Writing by Sofia Christensen; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang)