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World Attacks against Nigeria protesters 'escalating'

20:51  19 october  2020
20:51  19 october  2020 Source:   bbc.com

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Armed thugs had attacked protesters at the headquarters of the central bank in the capital, Abuja, it said. The protests started about two weeks ago to demand an end to police brutality, with mainly young people using the social media hashtag #EndSars to rally people to demand the closure of the

Protesters in Nigeria shut down Lagos, and were attacked with tear gas in the capital, Abuja. WSJ’s Joe Parkinson reports as a standoff with the government escalates and demonstrators are broadening their cause beyond ending police brutality. Photo: Sunday Alamba/Associated Press.

Rights group Amnesty International has raised concern about "escalating violence" in Nigeria against the #EndSars protest movement.

a man standing in front of a crowd: The protests by mainly young people have been backed by international celebrities © Reuters The protests by mainly young people have been backed by international celebrities

Armed thugs had attacked protesters at the headquarters of the central bank in the capital, Abuja, it said.

For their part, police accused people "posing" as protesters of looting weapons, and torching police buildings in southern Edo state.

Prisoners were also reported to have escaped from a jail in the state.

The protests started about two weeks ago to demand an end to police brutality, with mainly young people using the social media hashtag #EndSars to rally people to demand the closure of the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars).

Nigeria's youth finds voice in police brutality protests

  Nigeria's youth finds voice in police brutality protests Protests against police brutality in Nigeria have brought Africa's largest city to a standstill and dominated social media, channelling anger among the frustrated youth that has forced the government to listen. But the government has previously promised to end the unit and not followed through, so the protests have continued and even spread, the country's youth vowing to hold the authorities accountable. © PIUS UTOMI EKPEI The hashtag "EndSARS" has been one of several used to galvanise support online - 'Learnt not to trust' -"It's no news to us that things are said but not actually done," said Anita Izato, a young lawyer based in the capita

Rights group Amnesty International has raised concern about “ escalating violence” in Nigeria against the #EndSars protest movement. Armed thugs had attacked protesters at the headquarters of the central bank in the capital, Abuja, it said. For their part, police accused people “posing” as protesters

Protesters in Nigeria shut down Lagos, Africa’s largest city, and were attacked with tear gas in the capital, Abuja. As a standoff with the government escalates , demonstrators are As a standoff with the government escalates , demonstrators are broadening their cause beyond ending police brutality.

  • How Nigeria's anti-police brutality protests went global
  • The young Nigerians who forced the president to back down
  • Nigeria's 60-year struggle for unity

The unit, formed during military rule in 1984, was accused of extortion, torture and murder.

The protests have also been backed by global celebrities such as Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, US rapper Kanye West, footballers Mesut Ozil and Marcus Rashford as well as Nigerian superstars Davido and Wizkid.

Chinedu Ikedieze et al. posing for the camera: The #EndSARS campaign has gained global attention © Reuters The #EndSARS campaign has gained global attention

The government agreed to disband the unit, but protests have since snowballed into calls for wider reforms with protesters now also using the hashtags #EndBadGovernance, #BetterNigeria and #FixNigeriaNow to build support on social media.

Death toll climbs as Nigeria protests spiral

  Death toll climbs as Nigeria protests spiral Crowds took to the streets again in Nigeria's largest cities on Monday as the death toll rose in snowballing protests sparked by police brutality. Amnesty International said five people had died since the start of the weekend, taking the overall number of fatalities to 15 since demonstrations against abuses erupted this month. In Lagos, home to 20 million people, thousands of people took to the streets again on Monday, bringing the economic hub to a standstill. The huge outpouring of anger over brutality by Nigeria police's notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) forced the government to scrap the unit a week ago and promise reforms.

Nigeria has been rocked by days of nationwide protests over police brutality, following widespread claims of kidnapping, harassment and But protesters are demanding wider reforms and further protections against the police, including independent oversight and psychological evaluation of officers.

#EndSARS protesters sleep outside government house. Heavy police presence at Malawi sexism protest . Fourteen killed in fresh attacks in Ethiopia. Protesters in Nigeria 's commercial hub, Lagos, are into the second day of a sit-in campaign calling on the government to scrap a notorious police unit

There was an increased military presence in Abuja on Monday - a day after Defence Minister Bashir Magashi warned protesters against "breaching national security", the BBC's Nduka Orjinmo reports from the city.

Amnesty said police brutality has continued, with a 19-year-old teenager, named only as Saifullah, dying in police custody in northern Kano state on Monday.

She had allegedly been tortured to death, prompting protests in Kano's Kofar Mata area, Amnesty added.

https://twitter.com/AmnestyNigeria/status/1318142081437732865

Police have not yet commented on the allegation.

In other developments, Amnesty said police fired tear gas at peaceful protesters in Abuja, while armed thugs had early on Monday morning attacked activists who had been occupying the central bank's headquarters in the city.

Dozens of protesters were severely injured, the rights group said.

The Nigerian protests are about much more than police violence

  The Nigerian protests are about much more than police violence SARS’s abuse reflects the moral bankruptcy of the system the corrupt Nigerian ruling elite has put in place.But the Nigerian youth know better. This was the fifth time in as many years that this thorny unit had been “reformed” or “disbanded” and it is abundantly clear that the government is not serious about tackling police violence. The scepticism of protestors proved justified, as on October 13 Adamu announced the creation of a new unit – Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) – to replace SARS.

Nigeria 's President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed for "understanding and calm" after protests against police Nigerian governor urges calm as witnesses say soldiers fired on protesters . Nigerians have called for the President to address the nation directly about the attacks that rocked

Protests in Nigeria against a police unit accused of human rights abuses have spread to London, in a sign of the international solidarity that has formed around the movement. It's part of a now global campaign against a branch of Nigeria 's police called the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), which

It was the latest in a series of "escalating violence and coordinated attacks" against #EndSars protesters, Amnesty added.

The attacks have also led to casualties in recent days in the cities of Benin in the south, and Oshogbo in the middle-belt, it said.

"We again call on law enforcement agencies to investigate these incidents and protect the protesters from further attack by hoodlums," Amnesty added.

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Meanwhile, the Edo state government has declared an indefinite curfew because of "incidents of vandalism and attacks carried out by hoodlums in the guise of #EndSars protesters".

Earlier on Monday, prisoners broke out of a jail in the state.

Local media reported that more than 200 prisoners had escaped, but there has been no independent confirmation of this.

In videos posted on social media, some men could be seen scaling a high barbed-wire fence said to be the prison walls.

Police said two police stations and a police post were attacked in the state by "persons posing as #EndSars protesters".

"The extent of damage cannot be ascertained at the moment but report indicates that the protesters carted away arms and ammunition from the armoury and freed the suspects in custody before setting some of the facilities ablaze," it said.

Unrest in Lagos after deadly Nigeria protest shooting

  Unrest in Lagos after deadly Nigeria protest shooting Buildings were torched in Nigeria's biggest city Lagos on Wednesday as authorities shut down the economic hub after the shooting of peaceful protesters by security forces caused international outrage. At least 12 people were killed by the Nigerian army and police in two locations in Lagos on Tuesday in a deadly crackdown on demonstrations, Amnesty International said. Peaceful protesters had gathered despite a curfew imposed to end spiralling protests over police brutality and deep-rooted social grievances.

Some Twitter users responded to the claim with scepticism.

"Nigerian police that are happy to shoot at peaceful protesters suddenly froze when prisoners are escaping??" one tweeter commented.

An unprecedented challenge to Nigeria's leaders

By Ishaq Khalid, BBC News, Abuja

The ongoing protests are clearly a strong message not only to the current government but to the entire political class in Nigeria.

The relentlessness of the young people is uncommon. Demonstrations like these rarely last for more than three days but these ones appear to be gathering momentum.

As well as calling for an end to bad governance and poor economic conditions, some protesters are also beginning to demand more action from the government to tackle widespread insecurity in the north of the country, where armed criminal gangs carry out deadly attacks and kidnap people for ransom.

The government's response to some of the demands of the protesters has been unprecedented too.

It has pledged to disband Sars, set up of panels to investigate and prosecute erring police officers and promised wider police reforms.

Another rare gesture is the public apology by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who admitted that the government had not acted fast enough to address young people's concerns.

But the protesters remain unsatisfied, saying they need more action.

It is obvious that Nigerian officials are nervous about the ongoing protests and are deliberating how to handle them before they get out of hand.

The protests which have changed Nigeria forever .
The campaign against police brutality has encouraged young Nigerians to take on the older generation.A potent mix of street protests and social media has given young Nigerians a voice that has shattered the country's culture of deference.

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