Attack on End SARS protesters: Sanction Nigeria – SERAP tells Commonwealth

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, to hold Nigerian authorities to account for attacks on peaceful End SARS protesters.

The body condemned several reports of human rights violations and abuses.

SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, in a letter to Scotland, said sanction against Nigeria will be commensurate with the gravity of the human rights situation in the country.

The rights group noted that a government that attacks its own citizens during peaceful protests severely undermines its credibility.

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SERAP told the Commonwealth to make clear that respect for human rights, transparency and the rule of law are fundamental to its integrity.

The letter said attacks on protesters have constrained the ability of the people to participate in their own government, and to hold authorities and public officials to account for corruption.

SERAP said the ongoing events in Nigeria demonstrate authorities’ determination to suppress all forms of peaceful dissent and freedom of expression of the Nigerian people.

It regretted that people have been targeted simply for exercising their fundamental freedoms including their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression to end police brutality and impunity.

SERAP observed a significant deterioration in the human rights situation in Nigeria since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office more than five years ago.

The letter informed the Commonwealth that the Nigerian government have since 2015 promised to address police brutality and impunity but have failed to do so.

“Nigeria Police and security agents routinely respond to peaceful protests with disproportionate use of force, including using live ammunition, resulting in injuries to many individuals and deaths. Journalists covering protests have been targeted, some of whom have been beaten simply for performing their professional duty,” SERAP added.

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