Nigerian embassies worldwide see protests after shooting of demonstrators in Lagos

The brutal response to the EndSARS protests sparked demonstrations at Nigerian missions around the world

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Nigerian embassies in cities around the world witnessed protests on Wednesday after the shooting of peaceful protesters in Lagos on Tuesday evening.

Witnesses said gunmen opened fire on more than 1,000 people on Tuesday evening to disperse the crowd after a curfew was imposed to end spiralling protests over police brutality and deep-rooted social grievances.

Amnesty International said security forces had killed several people and it was working to determine the death toll.

The Lagos governor said the authorities were investigating the death of one person due to "blunt force trauma to head" and that 25 others were wounded.

The centre of the city, home to 20 million people, was deserted and shops were closed on Wednesday, but small-scale solidarity protests occurred in cities around the world, including Pretoria, Accra, Dublin and London with thousands calling for an end to police brutality.

In videos shared on social media, protesters in Dublin could be seen carrying placards reading ‘Stop killing protesters’ and ‘No police brutality in Nigeria’.

In London, protesters made attempts to pull down the Nigerian flag outside the embassy.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned the violence in Nigeria.

“I am deeply concerned by the recent violence and continued clashes in Nigeria, and am alarmed by widespread reports of civilian deaths," he said.

“We call for an end to violence. The Nigerian government must urgently investigate reports of brutality at the hands of the security forces and hold those responsible to account.”

Protests were also planned outside the Nigerian embassy in Washington DC.

Why are Nigerians protesting?

Why are Nigerians protesting?

US presidential candidate Joe Biden urged the president and military "to cease the violent crackdown on protesters in Nigeria, which has already resulted in several deaths".

"The United States must stand with Nigerians who are peacefully demonstrating for police reform and seeking an end to corruption in their democracy," Mr Biden said.

"I encourage the government to engage in a good-faith dialogue with civil society to address these long-standing grievances and work together for a more just and inclusive Nigeria."

The European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Wednesday condemned the killing of protesters and called for justice.

"It is alarming to learn that several people have been killed and injured during the ongoing protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Nigeria," he said.

"It is crucial that those responsible for abuses be brought to justice and held accountable."

The latest protests against Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) erupted after a video shared on social media showed what looks like a SARS officer attacking a young man in the southern town of Ughelli, in Delta state.

The video led users to share their own stories of police brutality using the hashtag #EndSARS and drew thousands of people into the streets.

On October 11, President Muhammadu Buhari announced that SARS will be dissolved, with immediate effect, but said the squad will be replaced with an “ethical” SWAT unit. The announcement enraged protesters, leading thousands more to take to the streets in cities across Nigeria to demand more widespread reforms.

In the ten days since, the protests have escalated and been met with brutal force by police.

A major Nigerian TV station linked to one of the ruling party's top politicians was set ablaze on Wednesday as unrest spread in Lagos following the shooting of protesters.

TVC managing director Andrew Hanlon told AFP that "hoodlums" had attacked the station with petrol bombs and that its main building was an "inferno".

Nigeria, where the median age is 18, is a tinderbox of profound economic and social grievances, and the demonstrations have snowballed from anger over police violence to broader demands.

Celebrity support

Since Tuesday, Rihanna, Beyonce, Bobi Wine and Manchester United's Odion Ighalo have added their names to a list of celebrities who support the protesters.