ABUJA, Nigeria — Many Nigerians on Friday remembered the victims of the historic protests towards police brutality which befell three years in the past, with Amnesty Worldwide reporting that at the least 15 of the protesters are nonetheless being detained illegally.
In October 2020, hundreds of Nigerians staged nationwide protests to kick towards the abuses of the now-disbanded Particular Anti-Theft Squad, or SARS. Within the financial hub of Lagos, safety forces opened hearth on demonstrators, prompting world condemnation. A government-commissioned inquiry described the taking pictures and resultant deaths as a bloodbath.
At the very least 15 protesters arrested three years in the past are nonetheless held in Lagos prisons, the bulk with out trial and a few being tortured, Amnesty Worldwide’s Nigeria workplace mentioned in a press release itemizing the names of the victims.
In Lagos, a small group of individuals held a rally to demand justice for victims of police brutality. “No person goes to be completely satisfied if you end up unjustly killing individuals, struggling them, oppressing them,” mentioned Adebowale Adebayo, one of many organizers and a Nigerian actor popularly referred to as Mr. Macaroni.
Throughout varied social media platforms, the #EndSARS hashtag trended in Nigeria as many spoke in regards to the persevering with abuses allegedly dedicated by Nigerian law enforcement officials.
“Our investigation reveals the Nigerian authorities’ utter disdain for human rights,” Isa Sanusi, director of Amnesty Worldwide Nigeria, mentioned, echoing accusations towards the federal government that protesters have been focused whereas their calls for for justice have been uncared for.
“Three years in detention with out trial is a travesty of justice. This reveals the authorities’ contempt for due strategy of regulation. The protesters should be instantly and unconditionally launched,” Sanusi added.
Folks additionally requested questions in regards to the true demise toll from the taking pictures in Lagos, with the federal government nonetheless accused of a cover-up.
A judicial panel commissioned by the Lagos state authorities reported that 11 individuals died. However in July this 12 months, the federal government confirmed a memo leaked by native media that mentioned greater than 100 our bodies recovered through the protests. Officers, nevertheless, mentioned the fatalities occurred throughout violence in lots of components of the state and never on the protest website the place troopers opened hearth.
“Nigerian authorities should take concrete and efficient measures to finish police impunity, together with by giving clear directives to the police to not violate human rights,” Amnesty Worldwide Nigeria mentioned.