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Why Nigerians are protesting police brutality

October 21, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

People hold banners as they demonstrate on the street to protest against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, Saturday Oct. 17, 2020. Nigerian protests against police brutality continued Saturday for the tenth day, with demonstrators fending off attacks from gangs suspected to be backed by the police, warnings from the Nigerian military, and a government order to stop because of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Nigeria has been rocked by days of nationwide protests over police brutality, following widespread claims of kidnapping, harassment and extortion by a controversial police unit known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

(CNN)Nigeria has been rocked by days of nationwide protests over police brutality, following widespread claims of kidnapping, harassment and extortion by a controversial police unit known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

But protests have continued in cities across the country, with some young Nigerians insisting they will continue to take to the streets until the entire police force is reformed.

Human rights group Amnesty International released a damning report in June this year in which it said it had documented 82 cases of police brutality in Nigeria between 2017 and 2020.

When contacted by CNN earlier this month regarding allegations of misconduct by SARS officers, Lagos state spokesman Muyiwa Adejobi said that all complaints against its officers were carefully investigated and appropriate sanctions applied to offenders.

Buhari said the disbanding of SARS was "only the first step" in extensive police reform.

Many protesters and journalists were assaulted by police in the capital Abuja on the same day, the rights group said.

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