One year after: Victims of police brutality yet to get justice

Amnesty International (AI), a human rights organization, claims that a year after the #EndSARS demonstrations, no security officer has been brought to account for the “brutal crackdown” on nonviolent demonstrators.

According to the organization, one year after teenagers throughout the nation came to the streets to demand an end to extrajudicial murders by the special anti-robbery squad (SARS), police brutality, harassment, and terrible governance in October 2020, reports of human rights abuses by the police persist.

On October 20, 2020, security officers allegedly opened fire on demonstrators at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos, bringing the demonstration to a close.

“It is unacceptable that despite overwhelming evidence, the government continues to deny the use of live ammunition on protesters at Lekki toll gate exactly a year ago.

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“Amnesty International had documented incidents at Lekki Toll Gate Lagos and other parts of Nigeria, showing the violent response of the Nigerian security forces to peaceful protests. The clear aim of the crackdown was to instil fear, discourage peaceful protests and punish those demanding an end to widespread human rights violations by the police.

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“After reviewing videos and photos of the protest sites, Amnesty International found that in nearly 21 incidents where violence occurred between peaceful protesters and pro-government supporters, security forces not only failed to take preventive measures to avoid peaceful assemblies from being disrupted, but they also failed to protect protesters from violent attacks.