ADC-ICT Urges Immediate Action to Stop the Expulsion of Individuals Relocated to Niger
On 30 December 2021, the ADC-ICT issued a press release urging immediate action of the international community to stop the expulsion of eight acquitted or released individuals from Niger.
THE HAGUE – The Association of Defence Counsel practising before the International Courts and Tribunals (ADC-ICT) is deeply concerned about the Government of Niger’s expulsion order to eight individuals who were transferred by the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) to their territory in December 2021.
According to a statement released on December 27, 2021, the Niger Ministry of Interior and Decentralization has ordered the men to leave the country within seven days. The order, which was signed by Niger’s Interior Minister, Hamadou Amadou Souley, further states that the individuals are to be expelled from the territory of Niger with a permanent residence ban for “diplomatic reasons”.
Earlier this month, H.E. Judge Carmel Agius, IRMCT President, informed the UN Security Council of a “major breakthrough” in the longstanding situation of these acquitted or released persons who have been living in a safe house in Arusha, Tanzania. The President stated that “a milestone agreement” was concluded between the Republic of Niger and the UN to relocate of all of these persons to Niger and he expressed his deepest gratitude to Niger for its “outstanding assistance and demonstrated commitment to international justice”. The actions of Niger this week would be entirely contrary to the purpose the agreement.
The ADC-ICT urges the UN Security Council and UN Member States to intervene and urge Niger to rescind the expulsion order and refrain from violating their obligations under the agreement to ensure the safety of these individuals and protect their rights. If such action cannot be reversed, the international community must urgently identify a new third party host State to ensure that the human rights of these persons will be preserved.
The ADC-ICT is an independent professional association which represents all defence counsel practicing the IRMCT, and formerly before the ICTY. The ADC-ICT works to promote and protect the interests of defence counsel and their clients and ensure the proper function of defence is respected in proceedings before international courts and tribunals. Further information is available at: www.adc-ict.org
The full press release is available below.