Beyoncé Shares Message In Support Of Nigerian #EndSARS Protests
Beyoncé has shared a message in support of the protests in Nigeria calling for the end of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad police unit. SARS, which was formed in 1992, has long been accused of abuses of power and brutality including kidnapping, extortion, harassment, and extrajudicial killings. The protests were reignited this month after a video allegedly showing a SARS officer shooting a young man surfaced online.
Nigeria’s government announced last week that SARS would be disbanded and replaced with a new Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) unit, with former SARS officers reassigned to other departments. But the demonstrations have continued, And now, following reports that police forces opened fire on protesters in Lagos last night, more stars like Beyoncé and Rihanna are speaking out.
“I am heartbroken to see the senseless brutality taking place in Nigeria. There has to be an end to SARS,” Beyoncé wrote on Instagram. “We have been working on partnerships with youth organizations to support those protesting for change. We are collaborating with coalitions to provide emergency healthcare, food and shelter. To our Nigerian sisters and brothers, we stand with you.”
Beyoncé’s official website also includes links to donate to the Feminist Coalition and Connected Development. Prior to her statement, Beyoncé had received criticism online for her silence on the #EndSARS protests because her her pan-African themed visual album Black Is King was partially filmed in Nigeria.
Rihanna also tweeted in support of the #EndSARS movement yesterday. “I can’t bare [sic] to see this torture and brutalization that is continuing to affect nations across our planet!” she wrote. “It’s such a betrayal to the citizens, the very people put in place to protect are the ones we are most afraid of being murdered by! My heart is broken for Nigeria man!! It is unbearable to watch! I’m so proud of your strength and not letting up on the fight for what’s right! #ENDSARS”