African Union condemns killing of protesters

The African Union Commission chairman on Thursday has strongly condemned deadly violence in Lagos against Protesters seeking an end to police brutality and called on all parties to “privilege dialogue”.
The African Union urged an end to the violence in Nigeria after weeks of deadly protests against police brutality.
Moussa Faki Mahamat “strongly condemns the violence that erupted on 20 October 2020 during protests in Lagos, Nigeria that has resulted in multiple deaths and injuries”, his office said in a statement distributed Thursday morning.
“The Chairperson appeals to all political and social actors to reject the use of violence and respect human rights and the rule of law”
Amnesty International said at least 12 people were killed by the Nigerian army and police in two locations in Lagos on Tuesday in a deadly crackdown on #EndSARS protests spurred by police brutality and deep-rooted social grievances.
At least 56 people have died across the country since the protests began on October 8, with about 38 killed nationwide on Tuesday alone, according to Amnesty.
The African Union did not single out Tuesday’s violence in its statement but welcomed the government’s move to disband the much-loathed Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Human Rights Watch also corroborated reports that the Nigerian army had opened fire on protesters Tuesday in “a shooting spree”.
The use of lethal force by security forces drew international condemnation, with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet saying reports suggested it could have been premeditated.
The Nigerian army has on Twitter called reports of soldiers firing on protesters “fake news”.
Faki’s statement Thursday did not specifically denounce the security forces’ actions.
It said he welcomed Nigeria’s decision to disband the police’s loathed Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Anger over abuses committed by the unit erupted into widespread protests some two weeks ago that drew thousands into the streets.
Human rights group Amnesty International released a damning report in June this year in which it said it had documented 82 cases of police brutality in Nigeria between 2017 and 2020.
The report said, “Detainees in SARS custody have been subjected to a variety of methods of torture including hanging, mock execution, beating, punching and kicking, burning with cigarettes, waterboarding, near-asphyxiation with plastic bags, forcing detainees to assume stressful bodily positions and sexual violence,”.

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