President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger is ‘in excellent spirits’ despite his incarceration.
Mohamed Bazoum, his son, and his wife have been detained in the basement of his Niamey mansion since the coup on July 26.
“Living conditions remain difficult, with electricity still cut off,” the doctor was quoted as saying by RFI, the French public radio station.
The visit was permitted as worldwide pressure mounted for his release.
According to RFI, it was the president’s first outside communication since he was deposed.
Mr Bazoum, 63, is said to have lost “worrying” weight, while his 20-year-old son, who has a chronic medical problem, is also said to have been denied care.
“The doctor was able to talk to the Head of State, as well as his wife and son,” RFI said. “Everything is fine,” he said. The doctor was also able to deliver food and medicine to them.”
“Following the visit, President Bazoum’s family said they were relieved,” the radio station reported.
The junta’s move to bring in the family doctor, commanded by General Abdourahmane Tchiani, appears to be in response to public disapproval of the president’s arrest since the coup.
Volker Turk, the UN human rights head, condemned the imprisonment circumstances as brutal, humiliating, and in breach of international human rights law.
His daughter Zazia, 34, who was on vacation in France during the coup, told the Guardian this week that her father, mother, and brother were surviving on rice and pasta since they didn’t have clean water or power.
She claimed that because there was no electricity, fresh food was decaying in the fridge.
“My family’s situation is very difficult right now,” she told the publication. “They say they’ll keep fighting, but it’s difficult to see our family in this situation and unable to leave.”
General Tchiani: The former United Nations peacekeeper who took control.
A short explanation of what is going on in Niger.
On July 26, the Niger military deposed the democratically elected president in a coup.
Similar military takeovers occurred in neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali, amid an Islamist insurgency and increased Russian influence in the Sahel area through its mercenary company Wagner.
Despite his confinement, Mr Bazoum was able to write a piece for The Washington Post in which he stated that he was a prisoner and that the coup would have “devastating consequences for our country, our region, and the entire world.”
More than a week has gone since US Vice President Joe Biden urged for Mr Bazoum’s “immediate release” and the “preservement of Niger’s hard-won democracy.”
The time set by Ecowas, a power group of West African governments, for the coup leaders to step down had passed.
Its threats of military action were not carried out, and the junta continues to disregard calls for the president’s release.
On Saturday, Ecowas stated that it wanted to deploy a commission to Niger to talk with coup leaders.