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Nigerian protesters say disbanding of controversial SARS police squad not enough

13 October 2020 2:56 PM
Tags:
Nigeria
Police Brutality
Nigerian protests
End Sars
SARS police unit
Nigeria SARS

Protesters in Nigeria have vowed to keep up the pressure until authorities make concrete plans for extensive police reform in the Western African nation.

Thousands of Nigerians have been protesting against alleged brutality by a feared police unit known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

On Sunday, Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, announced that the SARS unit was dissolved with immediate effect.

However, protesting youth say the disbanding of the controversial cop squad is not enough, reports EWN's Nigeria correspondent Samson Omale.

They want authorities to commit to extensive police reform in the country.

SARS officers have been accused of extortion, torture, extra-judicial killings, harassing innocent people, seizing their belongings, and wrongfully arresting youth.

On Monday, hundreds of protesters blocked the main highway in the country's biggest city Lagos.

The Inspector-General of Police in Nigeria, Mohammed Adamu, did say that SARS has been disbanded but the youth and the protesters are not having any of it.

Samson Omale, EWN Correspondent

They don't want just for SARS to be disbanded, they want a complete reform of the Nigerian police.

Samson Omale, EWN Correspondent

Human Rights Watch researcher based in Nigeria Anietie Ewang says protesters are not backing down because they have heard empty promises before.

People are still out on the streets because they say that the commitment that the authorities have put forward in announcing the dissolution of the SARS unit do not go far enough to guarantee them of the far-reaching reforms that they want to end police brutality.

Anietie Ewang, Nigeria Researcher in Africa Division - Human Rights Watch

Many of these people have faced way too much to let it go based on promises that quite frankly have been made over the last couple of years.

Anietie Ewang, Nigeria Researcher in Africa Division - Human Rights Watch

SARS has been known to profile young people simply because of the way they look; their hairstyles, tattoos, their iPhones, laptops or cars.

Anietie Ewang, Nigeria Researcher in Africa Division - Human Rights Watch

Listen to Anietie Ewang on The Midday Report:

Listen to Samson Omale on The Midday Report:


13 October 2020 2:56 PM
Tags:
Nigeria
Police Brutality
Nigerian protests
End Sars
SARS police unit
Nigeria SARS

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