Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Nigerian soldiers, police killed 12 protesters in Lekki, Alausa — Amnesty International

The global rights group demands an urgent investigation of the killings, which threw the nation into an overnight chaos.

• October 21, 2020
Amnesty International
Amnesty International (Photo Credit: @amnesty)

PRESS RELEASE

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. 

Evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports confirm that between 6:45 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on October 20, 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 soldiers 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.  

“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, head of Amnesty International Nigeria. 

Amnesty International 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,” Mrs. Ojigho said. 

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