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Another bloodbath in Nigeria. Soldiers in Lagos opened fire killing 12 protesters and wounding an unspecified number. Local media did not release much information.
The government has spoken about 30 wounded denies any deaths. Yesterday, like every day in the past two weeks, hundreds of people took to the streets in Lagos to protest against police brutality. Authorities imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos, where random shots were fired today, and in other regions of the country. The protests began against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) accused of torture, abduction and extorsion that the government dissolved on 11 October. Today, President Muhammadu Buhari asked Nigerians to understand and be calm: reforms are on the way, he assured them.
There have been numerous international appeals calling for the end to deaths caused by the police.
“Even we, in the Italian Senate, are launching an urgent and firm appeal to the Nigerian government and its diplomatic representative in Rome to stop police brutality in Nigeria,” wrote Italian Democratic Party Senators Alessandro Alfieri, Valeria Fedeli and Gianni Pittella.
For many years SARS has been committing acts of violence and abuse on various scales including torture and assassination, many of which have been documented not only by local activists but also in an in-depth report by Amnesty International and independent organisations.
The protests in the past few weeks, mainly participated at by young Nigerians, were drenched in blood. Recently, after grievances made by the international community, there was a glimmer of hope after the government decided to dissolve the notorious police squad. However, the officers responsible for the deaths and violence will not be held accountable and will be placed at top level positions in the country’s police force.
We stand by the Nigerian people in asking the government for truth and justice.