The Nigerian Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has a frightening history of brutality, corruption and even killings. SARS officers have been alleged to profile young Nigerians, mostly males, based on fashion choices, tattoos and hairstyles. They were also known to mount illegal road blocks, conduct unwarranted checks and searches, arrest and detain without warrant or trial, rape women, and extort young male Nigerians for driving exotic vehicles and using laptops and iPhones. Nigerians have shared both stories and video evidence of how officers of SARS engaged in kidnapping, murder, theft, rape, torture, unlawful arrests, humiliation, unlawful detention, extrajudicial killings and extortion of Nigerian citizens.
In October 2020, the #EndSARS movement mobilised tens of thousands of your Nigerians. These protests, and many marches in solidarity worldwide, forced the Nigerian police to dissolve the unit with immediate effect. It was most certainly a triumph although it was noted by many that such announcements were made more often but to no effect. SARS officers have been reassigned to medical centres and the government has maintaineda pattern of violent repression including the killing of demonstrators. Protests continue.
In April 2021, the Tiger Eye Foundation, a partner of ZAM, launched its #mySARSstory multimediacampaign. Testimonies of brutality are being released through social media on a daily basis. These well documented, filmed and illustrated stories already reached out to huge audiences. The initiative the support of Nigerian mediapartners @PremiumTimesng, @daily_trust, @TheICIR, @thecableng, @SaharaReporters as well as @zammagazine.
Watch the stories here.