'Soldiers Had One Intention: to Kill Without Consequences'

Nigerian forces killed 12 peaceful protesters, Amnesty says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 22, 2020 12:08 AM CDT
Amnesty: Troops Killed 12 Protesting Police Brutality
People protest against police brutality near the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, Nigeria, Wednesday Oct. 21, 2020.   (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Amnesty International said in a report Wednesday that Nigeria's security forces fired upon two large gatherings of peaceful protesters Tuesday night, killing 12 people calling for an end to police brutality. At least 56 people have died during two weeks of widespread demonstrations against police violence, including 38 on Tuesday, the group said. The Nigerian government did not immediately comment on Amnesty International's allegations. The #EndSARS protests began amid calls for Nigeria's government to close the police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, known as SARS, but has become a much wider demand for better governance in the country of more than 200 million people, the AP reports.

Despite the growing violence, the Nigerian protesters defied a curfew and faced off with security forces Wednesday as gunfire rang out and fires burned in Lagos, a day after shots were fired into a crowd of demonstrators singing the country’s national anthem. The security forces opened fire without warning on the protesters Tuesday night at the Lekki toll plaza, Amnesty said in its report, citing eyewitnesses, video footage, and hospital reports. "Opening fire on peaceful protesters is a blatant violation of people’s rights to life, dignity, freedom of expression, and peaceful assembly. Soldiers clearly had one intention—to kill without consequences," said Osai Ojigho, director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

(More Nigeria stories.)

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