As #EndSARS floods our feeds, thousands of Nigerians have been on the streets since October 3 to protest against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS); a special police unit that began in 1992 to tackle violent crimes in Lagos yet is now using violence and intimidation against the youth.
Amnesty International reported back in June that at least 82 cases involved torture, ill-treatment, and extra-judicial execution by SARS from January 2017 to May 2020. Additionally stating that “The victims of the police unit, set up to fight violent crimes, are predominantly male between the ages of 18 and 35, from low-income backgrounds and vulnerable groups.”
Protestors are seeking an end to SARS and have five core demands which include the immediate release of arrested protestors, justice for deceased victims of police brutality and compensation for their families, and psychological evaluation and retraining of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be redeployed.
Celebrities are now joining the fight and using their platform to speak on the issue.