MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The #EndSARS riots in Nigeria ignited after numerous claims implicated the country’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police unit in acts of killings, torture and blackmail. The department was disbanded by the government and replaced with the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) squad, but the protests in the country continue.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has denounced the coverage of protests against police brutality across the West African nation by foreign media outlets, in particular, the CNN and BBC broadcasters.
“It must be said that foreign press coverage of the ENDSARS violence was not balanced, especially from CNN and BBC. I was disgusted by the coverage, which did not give attention to the policemen that were killed, the stations that were burnt, and prisons that were opened,” Buhari tweeted late on Wednesday.
© REUTERS / TEMILADE ADELAJADemonstrators carry banners during a protest over alleged police brutality, in Lagos, Nigeria October 14, 2020. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja
In particular, last month the Nigerian authorities threatened to impose sanctions on the CNN broadcaster over its report on the alleged shooting of protesters at the Lekki Toll plaza in the city of Lagos, which implied a different version of the story than that of the government.
The latter insisted that shots fired by the army and police were not targeted at people but the air, while eyewitnesses interviewed by CNN claimed the opposite, saying the shooting was “a massacre.”