The End SARS movement is currently a huge effort in Nigeria. It began in 1992 when the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, or SARS was founded in Lagos, Nigeria. By 2002, it had spread to all of the country’s states and became one of the fourteen units under the Nigerian Police. It was allowed arrest, investigation, and prosecution of suspected violent criminals. In 2016, Amnesty International visited a SARS detention center and witnessed inhumane things occurring. These events included, but are not limited to, hanging, starvation, beatings, and shootings.
In early 2017, Osas Osaretin was on his way to a grocery store when he was stopped, hit, and arrested by SARS, accusing him of being a cybercriminal. Sadly, these cases are normally more brutal, ending in death for a lot of the accused. This sparked a nation-wide protest movement in Nigeria, known as End SARS. Many more occurrences of brutality came to light as people started to share their stories. The vice president and, at the time, acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, started an investigation and promised justice but nothing has come out of it, to this day.
SARS brutality continued and protests still take place every day in Nigeria. On October 3, 2020, a viral video showing SARS officers killing a young man was posted on social media. Five days later, the number of people at the protests reached an all time high as people aimed to avenge the young man’s death. On October 20, 2020, several protesters were shot and killed, and a national curfew was put in place. Brutality of the SARS police unit in Nigeria is an issue that needs to be stopped. Stick up for what you believe in and make your voice heard!