On 25 November 2023, General Abdourahamane Tiani, the President of the "Conseil National pour la Sauvegarde de la Patrie (CNSP)", the body that has been running the government in Niger since the coup d'état on 26 July 2023, signed an order repealing the law 2015-036 on the "smuggling of migrants". All judgements handed down since the implementation of this law have been annulled with retroactive effect and all persons imprisoned based on this law have been released due to local sources from Niger. Alarme Phone Sahara (APS) and other civil society organisations from Niger welcome the abolition of this law criminalising migration.
Statement by Alarme Phone Sahara (APS):
Alarme Phone Sahara and its large network Africa-Europe-Interact are pleased to learn of the repeal of the "anti-migration" law 2015-036, the so-called law against the smuggling of migrants by the Republic of Niger.
This law, which was introduced at the behest of the European Union, criminalised the transport of people supposed to be candidates for migration to Europe, as well as all other services and assistance to these people to facilitate their journeys.
Conference on criminalisation of migration and the campaign against law 2015-036
Niamey, 27th and 28th of February 2023 ©Alarme Phone Sahara
The repeal of this law is an important decision: In recent years, the criminalisation of migration had forced many people to take new routes through the desert as far away as possible to avoid controls and therefore generally dangerous for their lives. The law was an offence against freedom of movement, not only for people on their way to Europe, but also within the Sahel-Saharan region, which is their own space. In Niger, for example, many people working to ensure their human dignity were imprisoned and deprived of their means of subsistence by a partisan reading of the content of this law.
Cars confiscated from drivers accused of transporting migrants based on law 2015-036,
Agadez police yard © Aïr Info Agadez
It is therefore important to know that all judgements handed down since the implementation of law 2015-036 have been annulled with retroactive effect. As a concrete result, all persons who had been imprisoned based on this law have been released from prison due to statements by local authorities in Niger as well as by people involved in transport work.
Alarme Phone Sahara and its network Afrique-Europe-Interact hope that the repeal of law 2015-036 will restore freedom of movement in the Sahel-Sahara region and create safe travel and evacuation routes for all people on the move and for those seeking protection. We therefore call on the authorities of Niger and other countries to punish all acts of fraud, blackmail, violence, sexual exploitation and abuse against people on migration routes.
No to the externalisation of the European border regime!
For the right to leave and the right to stay!
Background information and statements on the repeal of Law 2015-036 in Niger:
Dr. Azizou Chéhou, coordinator of Alarme Phone Sahara, in the Nigerien journal "La Flamme" (French):
Sociologue and Human Rights Activist Olaf Bernau of Afrique-Europe Interact in the Swiss radio "SRF" (German):
Hamadou Boulama Tcherno of the association "Alternative Espaces Citoyens (AEC)" and others in the Nigerien journal "Le Matinal" (French):
Article on Mondafrique: "Niger responds to Brussels by repealing anti-migration law" (French):
Articles on Radio France Internationale (RFI) (French):
Article on Aljazeera (English):
Alarme Phone Sahara's Transnational Conference on the criminalisation of migration on 27 and 28 February 2023 in Niamey, Niger: