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Nigeria Cops Quash #EndSARS Anniversary Rally

Adebanjo Akinwunmi raises his flags as Nigeria marks the one anniversary of the EndSARS anti-police brutality protests in Lagos, Nigeria October 16, 2021. Picture taken October 16, 2021. REUTERS/Nneka Chile

Nigerian police forcibly cleared a rally in Lagos on Thursday marking the second anniversary of the country's #EndSARS protests against police brutality and bad governance.

Carrying banners and flags, a group of protesters rallied along the major expressway near Lekki on Thursday, before police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse them as cars passed by, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

Lagos state police spokesman Benjamin Hundeyin said some protesters were dispersed at Thursday's rally after unruly behavior.

"Some of them that decided to be lawless and start mounting the toll complex, an action threatening the existing law and order in the area, were dispersed with teargas," he said on Twitter.

Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters on #EndSARS Anniversary
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Rights groups say at least 10 people were shot dead by security forces on October 20, 2020, at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, the epicenter of the protests, a claim the government and the army has repeatedly denied.

"No justice has been found for the people who died, no justice has been found for the people who were hurt, and no responsibility has been taken," activist Feyikemi Abudu told Arise News Channel at the rally.

The youth-led October 2020 demonstrations in Lagos and elsewhere evolved into the largest anti-government protests in Nigeria's modern history before security forces ended them in a crackdown.

The 2020 #EndSARS protests erupted initially against police abuses, with the rallying name referencing the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which was later disbanded.

Amnesty International said on Thursday that more than 40 protesters from 2020 were still in prisons while panels established to investigate police brutality had failed to deliver justice to victims.

"The fact that nobody has been brought to justice over the torture and killings of #EndSARS protesters is a stain on Nigeria's human rights records," its report said.