Cha?bou-Nanzir (A Professional Partnership of Lawyers), a legal firm registered with the Court of Appeal of Niamey, in the Republic of Niger, and she is assisted by Mrs. Helena Duffy and Mr. Ibrahima Kane of Inter Rights, London. 3. The Defendant, the Republic of Niger, is a Member State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). 4. The Defendant is represented by Mossi Boubacar Esq. and Partners, Lawyers registered with the Appeal Court of Niamey, in the Republic of Niger. 5. The Applicant brings a complaint against the Defendant for violating her fundamental human rights, asks the Court to find such violation, and to sanction the Defendant. 6. The Defendant raised a Preliminary Objection of inadmissibility of the Application. 7. The Court decided to join the Preliminary Objection to the merits, in accordance with Article 87 (5) of its Rules of Procedure. Presentation of the Facts and Procedure 8. In 1996, aged twelve (12) years by then, the Applicant, Hadijatou Mani Koraou of Bouzou customary background was sold by the head of the Kenouar tribe, to El Hadj Souleymane Naroua of Hausa customary background, aged 46 years, for the sum of Two Hundred and Forty Thousand CFA Francs (CFA F 240,000). 9. This transaction was carried out within the context of 'wahiya', a practice obtaining in the Republic of Niger, which consists of acquiring a young girl, generally under the conditions of servitude, for her to serve both as domestic servant and concubine. A woman slave who is bought under such conditions is called a 'sadaka', or 'the fifth wife', that is to say, a woman outside those legally married (the number of which cannot exceed four (4), in accordance with the recommendations of Islam). 10. The 'sadaka' generally carries out the domestic chores and caters for the 'master'. The latter can, at any time, during the day or night, engage her in sexual relations. 11. One day, while she was working on her master's fields, he came and pounced on her and sexually abused her. This initial, forced sexual act, was imposed on her under the aforesaid condition, at a time that when she was still less 13 years old. The Applicant thus often became a victim of violent acts perpetrated by her master, in cases of presumed or real insubordination. 12. For about nine (9) years, Hadijatou Mani Koraou served in the house of El Hadj Souleymane Naroua, carrying out all sorts of domestic duties and serving as a concubine for him. From such relations with her master, four (4) children were born, out of which two (2) survived. 13. On 18 August 2005, El Hadj Souleymane Naroua issued Hadijatou Mani Koraou with a certificate of emancipation (as a slave). This deed was signed by the beneficiary, the master, and countersigned by the chief of the village, who affixed his seal thereto. 14. Following the said deed of emancipation, the Applicant decided to leave the house of the man, who not too long before then, was her master. The latter refused to let her go, upon the grounds that she was and remained her wife. Nevertheless, upon the pretext of going to visit her sick mother, Hadijatou Mani Koraou finally left the house of El Hadj Souleymane Naroua. 15. On 14 February 2006, Hadijatou Mani Koraou brought her case before the Konni Civil and Traditional Court, to assert her desire to regain her total freedom and go and live her life elsewhere. 16. As regards the said request, the Konni Civil and Traditional Court, in its Judgment No. 06 of 20 March 2006, found "that there had never been a marriage in the proper sense of the word, between the Applicant and El Hadj Souleymane Naroua, because there had never been the payment of any dowry, or any religious celebration of marriage, and that Hadijatou Mani Koraou was free to start her life all over with any person of her own choice." 17. El Hadj Souleymane Naroua filed an appeal at the Konni High Court, against the Judgment of the Konni Civil and Traditional Court. By Ruling No. 30, delivered on 16 June 2006, the Konni High Court reversed the contested Judgment. 18. The Applicant filed before the Judicial Chamber of the Supreme Court of Niamey, an appeal for the annulment of the latest decision, by asking for "the application of the law against slavery and slavery-related practices." 19. On 28 December 2006, the Supreme Court, by Judgment No. 06/06/Cout, quashed the Konni High Court Ruling, on grounds of violation of Article 5 (4) of Law 2004 - 50 of 22 July 2004 in regard to the 2

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