Nigeria: 15 killed since start of police abuse protests

Alaturka Amerika ABD Haberleri

By Adam Abu-bashal

ABUJA (AA) – At least 15 people have been killed since protests erupted this month in Nigeria against police brutality, Amnesty International said Monday.

The rights organization said two police officers were among the victims while hundreds of people have been injured.

Nationwide protests have continued since Oct. 7 despite the disbanding of the controversial Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police unit.

Protests against SARS had been going on for several days and demonstrators besieged its headquarters.

They chanted “End SARS” and poured red paint on the street in front of the building – a symbolic reference to the alleged killings by SARS officers.

Despite the dissolution of SARS, the protesters continued their demonstrations calling for comprehensive police reforms including punishments for erring officers, the unconditional release of all detained protesters and compensation for families of the victims of police brutality.

"The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and the livelihood of our people," President Muhammadu Buhari said last week on Twitter.

In an earlier report, Amnesty International said authorities failed to tackle the impunity enjoyed by SARS, whose brutality and corruption were "becoming increasingly brazen."

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