Amnesty International says that 15 #EndSARS protesters arrested in 2020 are still being arbitrarily detained without trial in Nigeria, three years after the protests occurred.
In a statement released on the third anniversary of the protests, Amnesty International said that most protesters are being held in Kirikiri Medium Correctional Centre and Ikoyi Medium Security Correctional Centre in Lagos.
Amnesty International also said that the Nigerian authorities have filed trumped-up charges against many protesters, including theft, arson, possession of unlawful firearms, and murder. Some of the protesters have alleged that they have been subjected to torture while in detention.
“Our investigation shows the Nigerian authorities’ utter disdain for human rights,” said Isa Sanusi, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria. “Three years in detention without trial is a travesty of justice. This shows the authorities’ contempt for due process of law. The protesters must be immediately and unconditionally released.”
Amnesty International also said that despite consistent claims of carrying out comprehensive police reforms in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests, Nigeria’s police continue to routinely commit human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, harassment, arbitrary detention, and extortion with almost absolute impunity.
The organisation said in the past year alone; it has documented the unlawful killing of at least six people by law enforcement officers.
Amnesty International called on the Nigerian authorities to take concrete and effective measures to end police impunity, including by giving clear directives to the police not to violate human rights. It also called for genuine reforms to end widespread human rights violations by the police.
The #EndSARS protests were a series of nationwide protests against police brutality in Nigeria in October 2020. The protests were sparked by a video of a man being beaten to death by police officers in Lagos.
The protests quickly spread across the country, with thousands of people taking to the streets to demand an end to police brutality and reforming the Nigerian police force.
The Nigerian government met the protests with a crackdown, with security forces using excessive force to disperse protesters. According to the Lagos State government, at least 103 died in Lagos during the protests.