US #Congressional #Black caucus has written to President #Buhari to express their concerns over #attack on #EndSARS #protesters

The United States Congressional Black caucus has written to President Muhammadu Buhari to express their concerns over the attack on #EndSARS protesters in Nigeria

The US lawmakers described the attack as “state-sanctioned violence” and called on the president to ensure an independent investigation into the incident.

Nationwide protests against the now-dissolved police special anti-robbery squad (SARS) have metamorphosed into agitation for improved governance in addition to justice for victims of police brutality.

On Tuesday, soldiers shot at the protesters while they converged on the Lekki tollgate, leading to the death of 12 persons, according to Amnesty International.

In a letter dated October 21 which is published on its website, the US Congress Black caucus condemned the “excessive use of force” on protesters, saying the respect for human rights must be upheld at all times.

The letter read: “We are writing to you to express our grave concerns regarding state-sanctioned violence in response to the non-violent #EndSARS protests in Nigeria, calling for police reform and the end of police brutality.

“We are particularly concerned with the documented force used by the Nigerian police and military, which resulted in the loss of lives and injured dozens of protestors like the recent events at the Lekki Tollgate on 20 October 2020

“Mr. President, preventing the use of excessive force, while maintaining the rule of law, is a global issue and it is one with which we here in the United States are also grappling.

“We do not claim to have the answers, however as nations work to meet the demands of their citizens, respect for human rights must be at the centre of all responses especially the operations of security forces including the police.

“Transparency and accountability to citizens are also incredibly important. As you know, we firmly believe that individual lives and dignity matter as countries cope with the current challenges they face.

“Certainly, the actions of the protestors matter but the burden will always be on governments to protect their citizens.”Advertisement

The lawmakers asked Buhari to release all arrested #EndSARS protesters and “publicly commit to allow an independent investigation into human rights abuses committed by the SARS unit and the police in general”.

They also asked the president to ensure justice for all victims of police brutality and initiate “comprehensive overall reform of the security sector, including incorporating accountability structures”.Tags#EndSARSpolice brutality

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