Monday, May 10, 2021

Amnesty accuses Nigeria of covering up killing of protesters | Nigeria News

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According to the rights group, authorities failed to bring to justice those suspected of being responsible for cracking down on protests in October.

Amnesty International on Thursday accused the Nigerian government of trying to cover up the murder of a dozen citizens during peaceful protests in Lagos last October.

Youth-led protests in Nigeria began against police abuse, quickly turning into broader calls for reform.

But they ended weeks later when security forces fired at protesters in Lagos – killing at least 12 people, according to the rights group.

During a judicial panel, the military denied using live ammunition, but the government promised to disband the much-hated police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which had been the main target of the protests against brutality.

“The Nigerian authorities failed to bring to justice those suspected of being responsible for the brutal crackdown by security forces against peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki and Alausa toll booths in Lagos in October 2020 and brazenly attempted cover up the violence, ”Amnesty said. .

“Since the assault by security forces, which killed at least 12 people, Nigerian authorities have targeted supporters of protests against police brutality by the dissolved SARS,” said Amnesty Country Director Osai Ojigho , in a statement published on the occasion of the hundredth day of the shooting.

She said some of the movement’s supporters have seen their bank accounts frozen.

The London-based rights organization has challenged the Nigerian government to suspend those charged, under investigation, and to ensure victims’ access to justice.

In November, the Lagos state government set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the bloodshed and broader allegations of abuse of SARS, with testimonies from the military that presented videos to back up his claims.

The government promised a series of reforms in response to the protests and dissolved SARS, replacing it with Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) forces.

Nigeria, where the median age is 18, is a powder keg of deep economic and social grievances, and the protests have snowballed from anger at police violence to broader demands.



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