SARS is the Special Anti-Robbery Squad that was founded in 1992 to crack down on a number of violent crimes in Nigeria. Throughout the years, SARS has begun to link itself with police brutality, especially by harming the youth of Nigeria.
SARS has been killing, raping, and extorting civilians of Nigeria. The main target of SARS is the youth of Nigeria. The special task force automatically believes that the youth with iPhones, laptops, tablets, and other expensive gadgets are thieves or scammers. The times are changing and the newer generation of people has been becoming more and more tech-savvy. They have been finding jobs that relate to technology and have been making a decent living off of it. SARS is attacking the youth who have worked hard to make a decent living because they are believed to have done something illegal to receive the money they have rightfully earned. They are arrested, interrogated, and their property is taken from them.
In June, Amnesty International reported that there were 82 cases of police brutality in Nigeria from 2017-2020. Amnesty International said those in the custody of SARS were, “subjected to a variety of methods of torture including hanging, mock execution, beating, punching and kicking, burning with cigarettes, waterboarding, near-asphyxiation with plastic bags, forcing detainees to assume stressful bodily positions and sexual violence.” Protests have begun for a start to police reform and an end to the harmful governing. There have been people speaking up against SARS since 2017. However, it just started to gain attention when reports showed SARS police attacking a young man, taking his car, and driving off. Many Nigerians are angry due to the unfair and unjust actions of SARS. Folarin Falana stated, “Everyone is dissatisfied and the government’s failing to react to this level of outcry is sheer disregard for the people. This administration is very insensitive.” The government has done nothing to respond to the brutality upon the people of Nigeria. On October 20, Sars opened fire on a peaceful protest and killed 38 protestors in Lekki, a city in Nigeria, later calling it the Lekki Massacre. There is no way for justice to reach the youth of Nigeria when SARS is constantly suppressing their rights.
The #ENDSARS movement has been compared to the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States to fight police brutality. The #ENDSARS protests have attracted global support and support from celebrities such as Kanye West, John Boyega, and Rihanna. To learn more click the link below.