Leading Black Lives Matter activists and celebrities have written a letter to Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, calling for the release of #EndSARS protestors and an end to police violence.
Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi, 36, decided to create the letter following the onslaught of violence against Nigeria’s youth rallying against police killings and violence.
“We care about the issues of police brutality no matter where they’re occurring,” Tometi told Reuters. “The violence that people have been met with is intolerable.”
The letter, signed by supporters including singer Alicia Keys and climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg, also asks the government to lift a ban on protests and allow an independent human rights monitor investigation into “the actions that led to the killings at Lekki Toll Gate.”
“People are missing and people have died as a consequence of speaking out,” Tometi said. “We will not abide it.”
Other signatories included Hollywood actors Danny Glover and Kerry Washington, civil rights campaigner Angela Davis, US congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Nigerian-American rapper Jidenna.
On October 20, the #EndSARS protests plunged into anarchy as civilians took to social media to share disturbing images of comrades who had been shot dead or wounded by soldiers during demonstrations in Nigeria’s capital, Lagos.
Last month, it was announced the International Criminal Court (ICC) had begun conducting a probe into the recent #EndSARS protests in Nigeria, which resulted in at least 51 deaths and a slew of violence. The investigation was launched to “assess whether the legal criteria for opening an investigation under the Rome Statute are met.”