The Nigerian Army Reportedly Opened Fire on Peaceful protesters
Social media reports and videos emerged on Tuesday night to show the Nigerian army opening fire on unarmed # endSARS peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos after the street lights were allegedly switched off and telephone networks cut. Casualty estimates have yet to be verified, but Amnesty International said late Tuesday that there was “credible yet troubling” proof that demonstrators were fatally shot and witnesses told the BBC that 12 individuals were shot dead.
Nationwide demonstrations against police brutality began on Oct. 8, after a video emerged in early October showing police officers suspected to be from the infamous Special Anti-Robbery Squad or (SARS allegedly shooting and killing a young man in the southern Delta State of Nigeria. While the claims were refuted by Nigerian authorities, protests erupted across the nation calling for the unit to be disbanded and # endSARS.
The hashtag # endSARS dates back to at least 2017, when it was used to share experiences of assault and violence. SARS was established in 1984 to combat an increase in armed robbery and crime, but was widely accused of illegal arrests and other abuses. Between January 2017 and May 2020, Amnesty International reported at least 82 cases of torture, ill-treatment and extra-judicial execution.