Nigeria: Urgent call to end violence against #EndSARS protesters

The brutal shooting of peaceful protesters in Lagos by Nigerian security forces is a gross violation of protestersā€™ rights and those responsible should be held accountable by the authorities, global civil society alliance CIVICUS said today.

Around ten people were killed as security forces fired live ammunition into protesting crowds on the evening of 20 October 2020. The protests are part of ongoing demonstrations against the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police unit, responsible for the torture and inhumane treatment of many Nigerian people.

ā€œIn Nigeria, the space for political participation is closing and citizens are not fully involved in decision-making processes. But when young people take to the streets to make their voices heard, protesting against a notorious police unit responsible for the worst form of torture, security forces respond by harassing, intimidating and killing protesters. Those responsible for this heinous act should be identified and held accountable,ā€ said Oyebisi Babatunde Oluseyi, Executive Director of the Nigeria Network of NGOs.

Background

#EndSARS protests broke out in more than 100 towns and cities across Nigeria several weeks ago after a video emerged showing the torture of victims by members of SARS. The protests have been largely peaceful but in many instances the authorities have responded with violence, killing around 20 people. Armed groups also violently attacked some protesters as the army vowed to step in and crush ā€œsubversive elementsā€ and troublemakers. In Lagos, Governor Babajide Samwo-Olu imposed a curfew to stop the protests before security forces fired into crowds of unarmed protesters.

For more information on civic space violations, visit the Nigeria page on the CIVICUS Monitor

 

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