Video shows police shooting man in back during #EndSARS movement (video)

Police have been caught on film shooting a protester and dragging his limp body down the street after weeks of violent clashes in Nigeria. 

Nigeria has been rocked by weeks of bloodshed as protesters take to the streets to demand an end to police brutality and the dissolving of a violent “anti-robbery squad”.

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was a division of the a branch of the Nigeria Police Force under the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department which was founded decades ago to tackle serious crimes such as murder and kidnapping.

However, since then, there have been widespread reports that the group was responsible for shocking human rights abuses including harassment, extortion and kidnapping, with the #EndSARS campaign calling on authorities to shut down the squad.

Over the years, the government has promised to bow to public pressure and close or reform the group, but critics say little changed.

The latest anti-SARS movement kicked off on October 8 after a video emerged which allegedly showed police – apparently part of SARS – shooting and killing a man.

It led to nationwide protests against the unit, and according to Amnesty International, at least 56 people have died across Nigeria since the protests began, with around 38 killed on Tuesday alone.

On that date – October 20 – the Nigerian military “opened fire on thousands of people who were peacefully calling for good governance and an end to police brutality”.

The following day, a horrific video was recorded which showed police officers surrounding several protesters in the city of Lagos and kicking one on the ground.

Buildings in Nigeria’s main city of Lagos were torched on October 21 during a day of violence. Picture: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP
A gunshot can be heard and the camera moves away from the scene, with Reuters claiming the man was then shot in the back by one officer.

His limp body was then dragged down the street before more gunshots were heard, and it is not known whether he was killed during the disturbing incident.

SARS was officially disbanded by the government earlier this month, but members will be redeployed to other police units.

As a result, critics argue the squad will simply be repackaged, with protests continuing against the broader issue of police brutality.

Osai Ojigho, Country Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, called for an end to the bloodshed.

Opening fire on peaceful protesters is a blatant violation of people’s rights to life, dignity, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, he said.
Soldiers clearly had one intention – to kill without consequences. 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.

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