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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Al Green (TX-9)

(Houston, TX) – On Thursday, November 12, 2020, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) and Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) released the following statement announcing their resolution in support of the #EndSARS peaceful protest movement in Nigeria:            

“End SARS has become a meaningful rallying cry, ringing loudly throughout Nigeria and across the globe after reports of wrongful killings of many innocent persons on October 20, 2020, at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos,” Congressman Al Green – who represents one of the largest Nigerian populations in the United States – said. “I have expressed my support for peaceful protesters in Nigeria and have emphasized the international importance of this issue, as Black lives matter wherever they may be.”

Congressman Green added, “I vehemently oppose and condemn the violent crackdown on peaceful protesters by Nigeria’s security forces. This is in part why I and my colleague Congressman Castro have presented a congressional resolution in support of the #EndSARS peaceful protest movement. This resolution – in addition to my previous letters to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as United Nations officials – articulates our solidarity with peaceful protesters and urges the Nigerian Government to uphold the right to peaceful protest and assembly in accordance with international, African, and Nigerian policies. I thank Congressman Castro as well as multiple human rights organizations for their support of this resolution.”

“Nigerians are protesting police violence, and like here in the United States, demanding justice. I’m proud to co-lead this resolution as a statement of support for the people of Nigeria who are protesting against these injustices,” said Congressman Joaquin Castro, Vice Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Human rights abuses, including extrajudicial executions of peaceful protestors, must be independently investigated and held accountable.”

Andrea Prasow, Deputy Washington Director at Human Rights Watch, stated, “This resolution sends an important message to the Nigerian people that the US Congress stands with them, and to the Nigerian government that Congress is watching. Nigerian leaders should heed the calls from governments and civil society around the world to affirm and protect the right to peaceful protest, and support an independent investigation into the use of deadly force against protesters.”

Ayisha Osori, Executive Director of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, said, “We welcome the intervention of the U.S. Congress in support of the #EndSARS Movement and the call to end police brutality and state-sanctioned abuse of human rights in Nigeria. Now more than ever, as the coronavirus pandemic has reminded us of how connected the world is, we need the collective voice of advocates speaking up in defense of justice and freedoms everywhere. For as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, ‘An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’”

“Congressman Green’s resolution shines a powerful spotlight on the decline of free expression in Nigeria while re-committing the United States to upholding the right to assembly as a cornerstone of democratic societies,” said Thomas O. Melia, Washington Director at PEN America. “October’s violence against protestors in Lagos and the subsequent threat of a nationwide internet shutdown constitute low points in the Nigerian government’s crackdown on speech and dissent. It is critical that the United States speak out against these injustices and hold the Nigerian government to account. Bravo, Representative Al Green!”

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This resolution has been endorsed by the following human rights organizations: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Open Society Initiative for West Africa, and PEN America.

MIL OSI USA News