Soldiers reportedly fire on protesters against police brutality in Nigeria
A growing movement against police brutality in Nigeria has erupted into violence, with reports of a number of deaths and injuries in Lagos on Tuesday, according to Al Jazeera.
Why it matters: Nigeria is the latest country to confront police brutality. The U.S. has witnessed months of clashes between police and protesters over the killings of Black Americans.
Where it stands: Soldiers reportedly opened fire on protesters in Lagos, which Al Jazeera calls the “epicenter” of protests comprised of tens of thousands of people.
- Amnesty International corroborated accounts in a statement on Tuesday, saying it had received “credible but disturbing evidence of excessive use of force.”
- Social media footage shows panicked crowds urging people to sit down amid multiple rounds of fire.
Details: The movement emerged two weeks ago when #EndSARS began to trend on social media platforms. The campaign called on the government to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a police unit that has faced accusations of abuse in the past.
- Many users posted experiences of harassment and sexual abuse from SARS.
- The campaign has received support around the world, with people in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom holding demonstrations in solidarity.
The big picture: This is not the first time #EndSARS has trended online. Protesters used it in 2017 to organize demonstrations.
- That year, Amnesty International accused SARS officials of routinely kidnapping and torturing young Nigerians.
- A petition with over 10,000 signatures called for SARS’ disbandment and was submitted to Nigeria’s National Assembly.
- In response, then-Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris reorganized SARS and opened investigations into allegations of abuse.