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Rep. Bass Sends Letter to President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari on State Sanctioned Violence Against Peaceful Protesters

October 21, 2020
Press Release
Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, and the Congressional Black Caucus sent a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on the state sanctioned violence against peaceful non-violent protesters in Nigeria and calling for dialogue with the CBC and the Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Sylvanus Nsofor.

In the letter, the Congressmember expressed particular concern with the documented force used by the Nigerian police and military, which has resulted in the loss of lives and injury of dozens of protestors like the recent events at the Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2020. She urged President Buhari to prioritize the following:

  • Release all the protesters who were arrested for taking part in the #EndSARS protests over the last few weeks;
  • Uphold the rights to non-violent protest and ensure the safety of protestors in accordance with the International Bill of Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended);
  • Publicly commit to allow an independent investigation into human rights abuses committed by the SARS unit and the police in general and include youth representatives voted on by the public on the Judicial Panels of Inquiry; 
  • Allow an independent investigation of the actions the led to the killings at the Lekki Toll gate;  
  • Provide justice for the families of the victims of recent protests against police brutality; and
  • Initiate comprehensive overall reform of the security sector, including incorporating accountability structures and the recommendations from the 5for5 made by Nigerian youth.

Read the full letter here