Amnesty International confirms at least 38 Nigerian protesters killed on Tuesday

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At least 12 Nigerian protesters were killed on Tuesday in two locations in the commercial city of Lagos, Amnesty International said on Wednesday following an investigation. About 38 people were killed nationwide on Tuesday, the group added.

“An on-the-ground investigation by Amnesty International has confirmed that the Nigerian army and police killed at least 12 peaceful protesters yesterday at two locations in Lagos. The killings took place in Lekki and Alausa, where thousands were protesting police brutality as part of the #EndSars movement,” Amnesty International said.

The rights group, which has been monitoring developments across Nigeria since the #EndSars protest began on October 8, 2020, said at least 56 people have died across the country since the protest began, with about 38 killed on Tuesday alone.

Victims include protesters and thugs who were allegedly hired by the authorities to confront the protesters. In many cases the security forces had used excessive force in an attempt to control or stop the protests, Amnesty International added.

It said “evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports confirm that between 6:45pm and 9:00pm on Tuesday 20 October, the Nigerian military opened fire on thousands of people who were peacefully calling for good governance and an end to police brutality.”

“Witnesses at the Lekki protest grounds told Amnesty international that solders arrived at about 6:45pm local time on Tuesday evening, and opened fire on #EndSars protesters without warning. Eyewitnesses at Alausa protest ground said they were attacked by a team of soldiers and policemen from the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Unit at about 8:00 pm, leaving at least two people dead and one critically injured.”

Osai Ojigho, Country Director of Amnesty International Nigeria condemned the killings, saying “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.”

Amnesty International said it received reports that shortly before the shootings, CCTV cameras at the Lekki toll gate, where #EndSARS protesters had been camped for two weeks, were removed by government officials and the electricity was cut – a clear attempt to hide evidence.

As in previous cases documented by Amnesty International, some of those killed and injured at both grounds were allegedly taken away by the military.

“These shootings clearly amount to extrajudicial executions. There must be an immediate investigation and suspected perpetrators must be held accountable through fair trials. Authorities must ensure access to justice and effective remedies for the victims and their families,” said Osai Ojigho.

Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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