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More Nigerian protests against police brutality as reforms fail to convince

October 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Nigerian protesters demanding an end to police brutality returned to the streets on Wednesday, saying they were unconvinced by the creation of a new police unit and a pledge not to use violence against demonstrators.

(CNN)Nigerian protesters demanding an end to police brutality returned to the streets on Wednesday, saying they were unconvinced by the creation of a new police unit and a pledge not to use violence against demonstrators.

Protesters have staged daily marches nationwide for a week, calling for an overhaul of police forces.

Police have responded to the demonstrations with beatings, tear gas and gunfire, which human rights group Amnesty International said had killed at least 10 people.

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a police unit that demonstrators have long accused of beatings, killings and extortion, was officially disbanded on Sunday.

On Tuesday, police agreed to stop using force against protesters.

But protesters said on Wednesday they feared the new unit will simply be a rebranded version of SARS.

Hundreds gathered on Wednesday in the capital Abuja, as well as megacity Lagos and Warri -- both in the south -- to press their calls for police reforms.

give them new uniforms, call them a different name, but they are still the same people in these police forces," said blogger Folu Oyefeso, in Lagos.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a statement on Wednesday, urged protesters to wind down demonstrations, saying that the gridlock caused in recent days had disrupted businesses still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

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