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#EndSARS: Protsters still languishing in police cells one year after

The Enough is Enough network has said there are numerous #EndSARS protesters who are currently languishing in various correctional centres across the country.

In a statement on Thursday, the network condemned police brutality on protesters who were calling for reform of the force. 

It urged members of the public and relatives of victims with reliable information about incarcerated protesters to reach out to EiE Nigeria or Gavel for prompt legal intervention. 

The statement reads: “The right to protest is fundamental and not a privilege. It is a right guaranteed by the ground norm of the land; the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which affirms that a citizen of Nigeria does not need the approval of any governmental agency or public official to express their grievance.

“Thus, to find protesters being brutalised, illegally shot at, and arrested for exercising their fundamental right is a complete breach of their human rights. 

“These were some of the disturbing encounters of Nigerians who participated in the October 2020 #EndSARS protest, where citizens came out en masse to bemoan the societal ills of police brutality, indiscriminate arrests, and the excesses of rogue police officers and operatives of different police units, especially the now-renamed Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).  

“Peaceful protesters are not criminals; neither is peacefully protesting a criminal offence. 

“Through our networks, we have observed, monitored, and amplified the search for incarcerated protesters and provided prompt legal support for victims as well as relatives of victims arrested during and after the October 2020 nationwide protests.

“Sadly, almost one year after the nationwide protests, we can authoritatively confirm that there are still #EndSARS protesters who are incarcerated and languishing in various correctional centres.

“We hereby call on members of the public, friends, or relatives of victims with reliable information about incarcerated protesters to reach out to EiE Nigeria or Gavel for prompt legal intervention via any of our social media platforms or contact details below.”

In October 2020, many Nigerians took to the streets to demonstrate against police brutality under the #EndSARS campaign.

The demands led to the disbandment of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police Force.

On October 19, 2020, the Lagos State Government set up the judicial panel of inquiry and restitution to investigate cases of human rights abuses by operatives of the now-disbanded SARS and other security agencies.

This was a sequel to the directive of the national economic council (NEC) that mandated states to set up panels to investigate police brutality in the wake of the #EndSARS protests.

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