Two weeks after the coup in Niger, the world community is concerned about the state of deposed President Mohamed Bazoum. According to the portal Spiegel online, for sixteen days the 63-year-old politician has been held in the presidential residence together with his wife and son.
On Friday, August 12, the UN and the EU reiterated the “deterioration of the conditions of detention” of Bazum, who is denied electricity, food and medical care. According to his daughter Razia Bazum, the family is finishing up the stocks of rice and pasta that were left in the presidential palace.
“A few days ago he was deprived of electricity and telephone, now the putschists do not allow a family doctor to see him. He will even be denied access to food,” Deputy head of the Cabinet of Ministers of Bazuma Moussa Umaru said this week.
The human rights organization Human Rights Watch, whose representatives contacted Bazum and his family, called the conditions of their detention “inhuman and cruel.” In the middle of the week, CNN also reported that the deposed head of state was kept in isolation and forced to eat dry rice and pasta.
This information was confirmed by the daughter of the captured president of Niger, 34-year-old Zazia Bazum, who was caught on vacation in France by the coup. In an interview with The Guardian, she confirmed that her father, mother and brother had lost electricity, and they had almost nothing to eat. According to the woman, “food is rotting in the refrigerator” of the presidential palace.
“They can no longer use the food that was in their refrigerator. They have no meat or fresh vegetables, only products such as rice and pasta are left. That’s all they’re eating right now, and it’s dangerous for their health. You understand that it is impossible to eat only rice and pasta always, day and night,” Zazia Bazum shared. — They don’t even have clean water to drink, and the gas for cooking will also run out soon. I can’t imagine what they will continue to eat, because no one is allowed to see them.”
Zasia said that her father and mother each lost about five kg, and her 22-year—old brother Salem, who is being held with his parents, lost 10 kg. According to the woman, electricity is still being provided in the capital, although neighboring Nigeria has stopped supplying it to Niger. From this we can conclude that the disconnection of the palace from the light is the work of the rebels.
“My family’s situation is very difficult,” Zazia Bazum said by phone from Paris. — They stay in the dark, and the weather in Niger is very difficult. They are always in the dark, and the house is very hot. They say they’re holding on. But me and my brother and sister, who stayed abroad (in total, Mohamed Bazum has four children. — Approx. RTVI), it’s hard to see our family in such a situation. They can’t even go outside. We asked twice for them, but we were refused. The father is under pressure to sign a letter of resignation. It’s a real torture.”
As RTVI reported earlier, US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who flew to Niamey to negotiate with the rebels, was not allowed to visit Mohamed Bazoum. Meanwhile, the politician’s daughter doubts that the military will release her father. “Maybe they will let my brother and my mother go, but I don’t think they will let my father go. They know that if they let him go, there will be people who will support him,” Zazia Bazum concluded.