MDC Alliance Youth Assembly Calls for the Dissolution of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police Force
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance Youth Assembly congratulates the young people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for leading the fight for the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a controversial unit of the Nigerian Police Force with a long record of abuses.
Since its establishment in 1992, SARS has been responsible for several human rights violations including the arbitrary use of physical features such as looks, height, approximate age and complexion to profile targets unlawfully.
They have also resorted to illegal “stop and search” tactics, illegal arrests, unlawful detentions, extrajudicial killings, sexual harassment of women and the brutalizing of young people.
The use of brutal force by this deadly unit has been synonymous with militaristic and ephebiphobic regimes since time immemorial.
SARS is fashioned along similar lines as Ian Smith’s Special Branch, Robert Mugabe’s Fifth Brigade and the current Zimbabwean regime’s Ferret Force.
We join the world in calling for the disbanding of SARS and we lend our solidarity to the people of Nigeria.
Every Nigerian is innocent until they are proven guilty by an independent and competent court of law.
While it is necessary for the police service in Nigeria to investigate crimes such as robbery, fraud and theft, the means adopted by the police must not violate the rights of innocent citizens and become a tool for the abuse of fundamental human rights.
The #ENDSARS movement in Nigeria has demonstrated to young people on the continent that social media can be a powerful tool for civic activism.
Through social media, young people can come together, speak with one voice and lead the fight against brutality, dictatorship and bad governance.
We call for the establishment of a Pan-African Forum through which young people across the African continent can work together in using modern technologies to mobilise continent-wide support against brutality and oppression of all forms. We believe in intra-Africa solidarity.
Finally, we thank Nigerian artists including but not limited to Burnaboy and Davido, writers and creatives for supporting the #ENDSARS movement.
As young people, we believe that artists are the custodians of uncontested spaces of radical thought.
Whenever they choose to stand with the oppressed instead of the oppressors, societies are transformed and the human spirit is given a new lease of life.
Discent C Bajila
MDC Alliance Youth Assembly International Relations Deputy Secretary
On behalf of MDC Alliance Youth Assembly
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