The Nigerian Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) has tortured and killed at least 82 persons between January 2017 and May 2020, a report by Amnesty International revealed.
According to the report titled “Time to End Impunity”, the victims are predominantly male between the ages of 18 and 35, from low-income backgrounds and vulnerable groups.
The Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, noted that the squad had continued to use torture and other ill-treatment to execute, punish, and extract information from suspects.
“The complete failure of Nigerian authorities to bring an end to the gross human rights violations perpetrated by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad or to bring any SARS officer to justice is shocking and unacceptable.”
She added that “Nigerians are outraged by the systemic human rights violations perpetrated by the SARS with impunity.
“The systemic use of torture and other ill-treatment by SARS officers for police investigations and the continued existence of torture chambers within the Nigerian Police Force points to an absolute disregard for international human rights laws and standards.”
Amnesty International said its investigation revealed a disturbing pattern of abuse of detainees in SARS custody despite the 2017 Anti-Torture Act.
In many cases, the group said it bore witness to the scars, bruises, and dried blood on victims’ bodies, noting that many of them were subjected to beatings with sticks and machetes and denied medical care.
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