Niger’s Mohamed Bazoum has appealed to the West African bloc’s court to free him.
Bazoum, the democratically elected president of the country, was overthrown by the military on July 26 and has since been detained at home with his wife and child.
According to his Senegalese lawyer, Seydou Diagne, he filed a lawsuit with a court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on September 18.
The lawsuit invokes his “arbitrary arrest” and “violation of freedom of movement”, Diagne said.
“We request… in view of the violation of political rights, that the State of Niger be ordered to immediately restore constitutional order by handing over power to President Bazoum, who must continue to exercise it until the end of his mandate.”
In addition to imposing sanctions on Niger, ECOWAS warned that it may resort to military intervention in Niger should diplomatic attempts to reinstate Bazoum as leader prove unsuccessful.
If the court rules in favour of Bazoum, “Niger has the legal obligation to execute the decision”, Diagne said.
Niger’s coup leaders have declared their intention to “prosecute” the democratically elected Bazoum for “high treason and undermining internal and external security”.