Nigerian Police Deploy in Lagos Before Anniversary of Protest
Nigerian security forces were deployed in the commercial capital amid calls by activists on social media to commemorate the one-year anniversary of a protest in which dozens of people died.
Dozens of police and an armored-personnel carrier were sent to the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, the main venue of last year’s largely leaderless demonstrations against acts of brutality perpetuated by the police’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad. At least 51 civilians and 22 policemen died when the mostly peaceful gatherings degenerated into rioting, resulting in a crackdown by the security forces.
Calls for a rally on Thursday to honor those who were killed trended on Twitter under the hashtags #OccupyLekkiTollGate and #EndSARSMemorial. Despite Twitter being banned in the West African nation, many Nigerians can still access it using virtual private networks.
Many of the victims of the violence are awaiting justice a year later, Human Rights Watch said in an emailed statement Tuesday. “The prospects for accountability remain inconclusive and bleak,” it said.
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