Beyonce, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj & others speak out against police brutality in Nigeria
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 6:45pm and 9:00pm on Tuesday 20 October, 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 solders 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.
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. [Amnesty International]
The situation in Nigeria between the government and protests against police brutality escalated on Tuesday (10/20), with Amnesty International reporting that the Nigerian army and police have killed at least 12 peaceful protesters (more information above).
Several musicians -- including Nigerian musicians like Burna Boy, Davido, WizKid, Tiwa Savage, and Mr. Eazi -- have lent their voices to the #EndSARS movement (SARS, or the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, was the name of Nigeria's notoriously cruel police unit, which was reportedly dissolved earlier this month), and as The FADER points out, megastars like Beyonce, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj are getting involved now too, along with many others.
I am heartbroken to see the senseless brutality taking place in Nigeria. There has to be an end to SARS. We have been working on partnerships with youth organisations to support those protesting for change. We are collaborating with coalitions to provide emergency healthcare, food, and shelter. To our Nigerian sisters and brothers, we stand with you. Please visit beyonce.com for a list of organisations to show your support.
I can’t bear to see this torture and brutalisation that is continuing to affect nations across our planet. ‘It is such a betrayal to the citizens, the very people put in place to protect are the ones we are most afraid of being murdered by. My heart is broken for Nigeria. It is unbearable to watch.
Update: Davido spoke to NME about the protests. "It started because the country was just tired of this division of the police that was really aggressive towards citizens, even to the extent of killing them," he said. "Now, it’s even past #ENDSARS. The government just has to do better. It’s been hundreds of years of the same thing, and this generation is just tired."
Davido also his discussed his recent single "FEM" unintentionally becoming a protest anthem. "I didn’t plan it! I dropped the song a month and-a-bit ago, and it’s been crazy to see how it’s grown to be used as a tool. It’s amazing to see."
Davido also spoke about his meeting with Nigeria's Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and how he didn't intend for that meeting to cast him as a leader of the movement. "I don’t see that as my role. I just see it like I have the opportunity to be able to get to him. I went there to convey the message of the people. I’m not here to act as a leader, I’m just like everyone else that wants a change. To me, I feel like anybody should be able to walk up to the Inspector General of Police and be able to dialogue with him, not just because I’m a quote-unquote ‘VIP’ or whatever."
Read more at NME.
Burna Boy said to Sky News, "This is the most important moment in Nigeria's history... that is what we are witnessing right now because if nothing changes after this, if this doesn't work, then it is over."
American politicians like Hillary Clinton have also gotten involved. She tweeted, "I’m calling on [President Muhammadu Buhari] and the [Nigerian Army] to stop killing young #EndSARS protesters. #StopNigeriaGovernment."
View more posts below, from Nicki Minaj, Chance the Rapper, Burna Boy, WizKid, Davido, Mr. Eazi and DeJ Loaf.
To learn more about the protests in Nigeria and why the whole world needs to be paying attention, read this new TIME article and watch the short video from Amnesty International embedded below.
Amnesty International also has a pre-written email that you can sign and send to President Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation, demanding justice for victims of police brutality in Nigeria.
More up to date information from Amnesty International here.