ABUJA, Nigeria — Many Nigerians on Friday remembered the victims of the historic protests in opposition to police brutality which befell three years in the past, with Amnesty Worldwide reporting that no less than 15 of the protesters are nonetheless being detained illegally.
In October 2020, hundreds of Nigerians staged nationwide protests to kick in opposition to 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 capturing 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 an announcement 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 one goes to be pleased if you find yourself unjustly killing folks, struggling them, oppressing them,” mentioned Adebowale Adebayo, one of many organizers and a Nigerian actor popularly generally known as Mr. Macaroni.
Throughout numerous social media platforms, the #EndSARS hashtag trended in Nigeria as many spoke concerning the persevering with abuses allegedly dedicated by Nigerian cops.
“Our investigation exhibits the Nigerian authorities’ utter disdain for human rights,” Isa Sanusi, director of Amnesty Worldwide Nigeria, mentioned, echoing accusations in opposition to 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 exhibits the authorities’ contempt for due strategy of regulation. The protesters should be instantly and unconditionally launched,” Sanusi added.
Folks additionally requested questions concerning the true demise toll from the capturing in Lagos, with the federal government nonetheless accused of a cover-up.
A judicial panel commissioned by the Lagos state authorities reported that 11 folks 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.