Nigerian authorities on Tuesday “turned a peaceful protest against police brutality into a shooting spree,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Wednesday.
The rights group said “on the evening of October 20, 2020, Nigerian army soldiers opened fire at a crowd of protesters in Lagos who were calling for an end to police brutality. “
“Nigerian authorities turned a peaceful protest against police brutality into a shooting spree, showing the ugly depths they are willing to go to suppress the voices of citizens,” wrote Anietie Ewang, Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch.
Ewang called on Nigerian authorities to “immediately withdraw the military from the streets, and identify and prosecute officers responsible for or complicit in any excessive use of force against peaceful protesters.”
For more than a week, peaceful protesters in Nigeria have been demanding that the government steps in and ends police brutality. But the government responded with force, triggering more protests and new demands.