#EndSARS: UK Parliamentarians Urge Govt To Take Action

Two members of the British Parliament have urged the government to take action after the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria were violently suppressed.

The parliamentarians are Helen Hayes and Neil Coyle.

Reports in the British media indicate that the MPs have called on the foreign secretary to support the #EndSARS protests in solidarity with Nigerian campaigners and members of the diaspora in Southwark.

Equally important, Hayes who represents Dulwich and West Norwood has publicly supported the campaign to abolish; as well as fully investigate the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a dreaded Police unit accused of documented human rights abuses; including torture, extortion and extrajudicial killing.

Southwark News reports that although the Nigerian government has said the unit will be disbanded; the peaceful #EndSARS protests calling for wider reform and investigations into the unit’s actions have been violently repressed. Further, the medium says that on October 20, a dozen peaceful activists were killed in Lagos.

Hayes said: “The recent violence in Nigeria and the repression of protestors is abhorrent…I know that many of my constituents are deeply worried about family and friends living in Nigeria.

“The UK has a moral duty to stand up for human rights abroad and to work with international partners to oppose abuses. The UK government must do everything possible to help restore peace in Nigeria.”

In her letter to foreign secretary Dominic Raab; Hayes also described her concern over reports that UK funding had been used toward the training of implicated SARS officers.

Also, Coyle, a member of the House of Commons’ foreign affairs committee, has lent his voice. He called on the foreign secretary to take a stand; saying he has ‘watched with horror’ as events have unfolded in Lagos during the #EndSARS protests.

More than 220,000 people signed a petition calling on the UK government to impose sanctions on key figures within the Nigerian government in response to the human rights abuses.

The government’s official response, given on November 11, said; “We were concerned by violence during recent protests and await the outcome of Nigerian investigations into reports of police brutality.

“We do not publicly speculate on future sanctions designations.”

However, the number of signatories meant the issue was motioned for debate in parliament, chaired by Theresa Villiers; where MPs blasted the government for channelling funds towards the SARS unit.

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